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Cavite sees ‘infirmities’ in MacroAsia-CCCC’s Sangley submissions

Final decision this week on consortium’s bid for first phase of $10-B airport project

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

THE Cavite government saw “infirmities” in the required documents submitted by the consortium of MacroAsia Corp. (MAC) and China Communications Construction Co. Ltd. (CCCC) for the Sangley Point International Airport project, the province’s top official said.

This week, Cavite’s public-private partnership selection committee will have to make a final decision as to whether the province should stop or continue to deal with the consortium for the first phase of the $10-billion airport project.

“The selection committee will meet and submit their final recommendation this week,” Cavite Gov. Juanito Victor “Jonvic” C. Remulla, Jr. told BusinessWorld in a phone message on Monday.

“I will abide by their decision,” he added.

On Nov. 25 last year, the governor said MacroAsia and CCCC had formally submitted their consortium agreement.

The next step was to evaluate the validity of the agreement before the province could seal a joint venture deal with the consortium.

Mr. Remulla had expected the joint venture deal signing to take place in December, but it did not happen because the provincial government saw compliance issues.

“There were infirmities with the submissions,” he said on Monday.

He also noted that it is still too early to plan on contingencies. “Let’s wait for the selection committee’s recommendations.”

The consortium had asked the Cavite government thrice to give it more time to complete and submit the final requirements for the project, which were supposed to be submitted 60 days after the group received the notice of award in February last year.

Initially, it was given until the second week of June to process and submit the documents before a joint venture development agreement could be signed, but the consortium members asked for a further 90-day extension.

The tandem missed the deadline for complete submission on Sept. 9, so it was extended for another 90 days.

The province had expected to break ground with its joint venture partner for the first phase of the airport project by the second quarter of 2020.

The first phase of the project, which will cost $4 billion, covers the construction of the Sangley connector road and bridge to connect the Kawit segment of the Manila-Cavite Expressway to the international airport.

Phase 1 also involves the construction of the airport’s first runway. The airport is rated at 25 million passengers yearly, and is intended to help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The airport was initially expected to be fully operational by 2023, with partial operations starting a year earlier. A fourth runway would be opened after six years.

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