CEBU CITY, Philippines-The proposed second runway of the Mactan Cebu International Airport will take years to finish but its awarding to the contractor could still happen within the administration of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.
That is according to Atty. Steve Dicdican, the Gen. Manager of the Mactan Cebu International Airport in a recent press briefing.
That means the relocation of the locators of the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ 1) would also take years but as to the contractor of the proposed P208 billion project, it could be known soon once the government would approve it citing the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan as precedent that has been awarded already.
Dicdican said like what happened to the Bulacan project, the Mactan airport project which would include a reclamation project where a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will sit could be approve also within the Duterte administration.
“We’re still hopeful within the Duterte administration, this can still be awarded” Dicdican said.
GMR Megawide consortium has been given the Original Proponent Status (OPS) and the project is now under review by the National Economic and Development Authority- Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC).
Once government will approve it, a “Swiss Challenge” will ensue where GMR Megawide would be given the first preference as the original proponent.
Under a Swiss Challenge, an interested party could give better terms but the original proponent can still win the project if it matches the new offer.
“GMR Megawide is the project proponent. This is an unsolicited proposal so there will still be a Swiss Challenge. That means it could stll be bidded out but the original proponent has a preferred status, they match, whoever is the winning bidder” Dicdican explained.
The P735 billion Bulacan airport has been awarded to San Miguel Corporation and its construction is scheduled to start within the year.
Unlike the Bulacan airport though the Mactan aiport second runway could still start after nine years based on the project’s timetable.
What would be come earlier will be the reclamation project in Barangay Ibo where the SEZ would be put up.
In the SEZ would be the at least the150 locators of MEZ 1 that would be relocated in a manner that would have less disruption.
According to Dicdican the second runway along with the reclamation project is part of the 50 year master plan of the Mactan airport.
It is projected to accomodate at least 50 million passengers annually in the forthcoming years where direct flights even to United States of America (USA) and other big countries could be made.
The present airport according to Dicdican could just cater to 13 million passengers, where the international flights are just within Asia.
“Right now Cebu does not have any route to Australia, Cebu does not have route to America, no route to Europe, we are still limited to Asia.
Imagine the potential if we are able to create that. I would like that one day, within my lifetime, to travel directly to these routes that we have not yet created. That can only be done if we create the facility that is right for these routes” Dicdican empathically said.