Is 1.6 Billion not enough to build an airport?
February 22, 2013
The Philippines most secret 1.6 Billion Pesos airport project developed by Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) and the private consortium Cagayan Land Property Development Corp.(CLPDC) was exposed yesterday with no less than Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile using the airport amidst Port Irene Used-auto import scandal.
It was designed to be a private world-class airport rising in the home province of Senate President Enrile but its public nature of the grant, makes it a government airport, supposedly scheduled for opening in 2010.
Fast Forward in 2013, it still has to be completed with CEZA looking for the additional funds for its completion. To do that they have to sell the airport as hangars for private planes of jet-setting billionaires and executives of top corporations in Asia, particularly in Hongkong
The Philippine Daily Inquirer ran a story yesterday to put it this wise:
Alfonso Cusi, former chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philipiness and general manager of the Philippine Ports Authority during the Arroyo administration, revealed that he was brokering a deal for the entry of a foreign business group to develop the international airport in Lal-lo, Cagayan, as a cheaper alternative for private jets currently docking at the airports in Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou and Shenzhen in China.
“I’m not supposed to divulge details of the project at this point because there are other airports looking to get this lucrative business. There’s a very strong interest outside of the Philippines to set up a venture similar to what we are rolling out at Lal-lo. We’re still finalizing the deal, but we’re confident we will get it,” Cusi said in a phone interview.
Cusi said he was forced to reveal the plans for the Lal-lo airport to explain the presence of Enrile during the initial testing on Tuesday of its 46-meter-wide, 2,200-meter-long runway.
“He was there to witness the progress in the airport which is a key component of the Cagayan Export Zone. But he is not part of the business group investing in the hangar, it’s all foreign,” he said.
The question now is where did the US$34 million went?
Airport feasibility funding was derived from the Spanish government in 2007 providing grant assistance to the Philippines.
Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) applied for a technical assistance grant offered by the Spanish FEV (Linea de Financiacion de Estudios de Viabilidad) for the conduct of feasibility study, master planning and preliminary engineering design for an international airport in Cagayan. The grant was approved on Jan. 22, 2009.
Thereafter, a shortlist of qualified Spanish companies to undertake the planning and study — which included the master planning and design of the international airport — was forwarded to Ceza by the Spanish Embassy.
Getinsa Ingenieria SL, a Madrid-based engineering firm, submitted the best proposal to Ceza and was awarded the contract after a letter of “no objection” was received from the Spanish government.
Getinsa conduct studies and engineering projects worldwide and has business office in Manila working as consultant for the World Bank in the Philippines.
In September 2009, CEZA and the private consortium Cagayan Land Property Development Corp.(CLPDC) signed the 50-year joint venture agreement to put up the international airport in Barangays San Mariano and Dagupan, Lallo town.
Enrile expects President Aquino to inaugurate the $34.2-million northern Luzon gateway, which would have a paved apron and tarmac, a control tower and a 1,000-square-meter terminal building, Cusi said.
Yet, it never was completed according to plan.