San Miguel Corp. (SMC) clarified it is only proposing to operate and maintain the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) until the conglomerate’s own P740-billion Manila International Airport project in Bulacan is completed
SMC claimed it is not interested in shares in revenues from NAIA operations and maintenance
Once the Bulacan airport is finished, SMC said it is leaving it up to the government to decide what to do with NAIA
San Miguel Corp. (SMC) clarified that its proposal is purely on the operations and maintenance (O&M) of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and that it is not interested in shares in the airport’s revenue.
SMC said it is proposing the O&M of NAIA to ensure the main gateway is efficiently run until the conglomerate’s P740-billion Manila International Airport (MIA) project in Bulacan is completed.
“Our interest in NAIA does not intend to replicate what Megawide had in mind for NAIA,” SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said in a statement.
He explained that SMC’s proposal “is brought on only by the need to have [NAIA] running effectively and safely for the Filipino people, until our Bulacan airport project is up.”
“And until our airport is ready, that task needs to be done. We are also leaving it up to the government to decide on what to do with the NAIA in the future,” he said.
The statement came after Ang earlier confirmed reports SMC had submitted a proposal for O&M of NAIA.
Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Eddie Monreal confirmed in a Senate hearing on December 17 that both SMC and Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions, Inc. (PAGSS) have submitted proposed projects for NAIA.
That the two companies have made separate proposals on NAIA was revealed after the government had revoked the original proponent status (OPS) of Megawide and its partner GMR Infrastructure Ltd. for their proposal to rehabilitate NAIA.
Following the removal of its OPS, Megawide said it would immediately file a motion for reconsideration, noting the consortium “has complied with all requirements and interpretations of the government for its unsolicited proposal.”
SMC’s Ang said that unlike the other proposals that required a share in the revenues of NAIA—including passenger fees and lease rentals—the company is “not interested in the revenues.”
“We want to improve NAIA for the passengers. We want it to be run more efficiently, for service levels to be improved, until the new airport is operational. All revenues will go MIAA,” he said.
Ang added that this non-revenue sharing was actually part of its original proposal for MIA. SMC said that while it was developing the Bulacan airport, it could also spend on the improvement and operation of NAIA, with no share in its revenues, and at no cost to government.
The Department of Transportation, however, had asked SMC to remove that portion on revenue sharing in the proposal.
Ang said its proposed 10-year concession for NAIA’s O&M aims to give the government a freer hand on what it wants to do with the gateway once MIA is completed and operational.
Ang added that in his view, government could better benefit from selling or redeveloping the NAIA property once there is a new and much larger world-class gateway just north of Manila. The northern airport will have four runways and be easily accessible via a network of existing and new infrastructure.
He said the 646-hectare NAIA complex, which is about 2.5 times bigger than Bonifacio Global City, could potentially earn for the government as much as P2 trillion or more, which it can use for various purposes.
The government can then increase its earnings and even generate more jobs once new commercial or residential developments rise in the NAIA area. Revenues from these new developments will most likely be higher than those from airport fees, he said.