It's official: San Miguel bags ₱734-B Bulacan airport contract

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 14) — The Transportation department has officially awarded the contract to build a new international airport in Bulacan to San Miguel Holdings Corporation (SMHC).

The special bids and awards committee for the proposed New Manila International Airport met on Wednesday to finalize the project contract. It later on awarded the ₱734-billion deal to SMC as no other companies presented counter-proposals last month, making the firm the default winner.

In a statement this afternoon, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it issued a notice of award for the project and gave SMHC 20 days to submit the required documents to the committee.

San Miguel President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang put forward the new airport proposal back in 2016. It will be built on a 2,500 hectare property in Bulakan town, around 30 kilometers northeast of Metro Manila.

LOOK: San Miguel gives a sneak peek into proposed Bulacan airport

The DOTr earlier said that it wants construction to start before the year ends, as it gave four to six years for the winning bidder to complete the four-runway airport.

The planned international gateway can accommodate up to 100 million passengers per year, and is expected to decongest air traffic at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City. The Bulacan "aetropolis" would also sit close to the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.

"Once operational, this new airport will give connectivity options to our citizens,” Transportation Undersecretary Ruben Reinoso said.

The project will be built without state subsidies or guarantees. Once SMC secures a notice to proceed from the DOTr, the conglomerate will take charge of financing, design, and construction of the airport, as well as operation and maintenance once the structures are established.

SMC has revealed that it will be tapping foreign builders and designers for the project, which include the makers of Singapore's Changi Airport and France's Charles de Gaulle Airport.