San Miguel can begin construction of Bulacan airport by yearend if no other bidders emerge - DoTr

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 15) — A conglomerate may soon begin construction of a new international airport north of Manila, a Transportation official said Friday.

In an interview with CNN Philippines Business Roundup, Transportation Undersecretary for planning Ruben Reinoso Jr. said San Miguel Holdings Corporation (SMHC) can begin construction of its proposed Bulacan international airport as early as the end of this year.

He added this will happen if there is no counter-offer to SMHC's bid in a Swiss challenge by the end of March.

"We are now in the process of refining the draft concession agreement and formulating the terms of reference for the Swiss challenge. We expect this to be completed in a week or two weeks' time. We hope to launch the Swiss challenge not later than the end of the first quarter of 2019," Reinoso said.

He said interested groups that will join the Swiss challenge will be given 60 days to submit their counter-proposal on the airport project.

For now, Reinoso said they have not received any notice of challenge from other groups.

"If after 60 days nobody submitted a competitive proposal, we inform San Miguel that there is no competitor and we give them the notice of award," the Transport official said, adding that SMC would still have to negotiate a concession agreement.

SMHC's proposed Bulacan international airport will be constructed on a 2,500 hectare seaside area in Bulacan, north of Manila. It will have four parallel runways and a terminal that can accomodate 100 million passengers yearly. The project's estimated cost is more than ₱735 billion.