SMC: ₱740-B Bulacan airport up and running by 2025

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 14) — Conglomerate San Miguel Corporation is targeting to make the ₱740-billion Bulacan airport operational by 2025, its top official said.

SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang on Thursday said initial works have started for the construction of the massive New Manila International Airport or NMIA.

In a statement, he said the opening of the gateway is "set" for 2025.

"Two major expressways connecting to the airport will also open by 2023," the tycoon added. Several road projects have long been laid out by SMC since last year to complement the NMIA.

The Bulacan air hub is being eyed to decongest the country's main gateway Ninoy Aquino International Airport, as this is designed to accommodate up to 100 million flyers annually. The NMIA will be constructed with four runways, eight taxiways, and three passenger terminals.

Just this month, SMC secured a 50-year franchise to build, operate, and maintain the 2,500-hectare international airport in Bulacan.

Construction of the airport is expected to run for a maximum of ten years.

The facility will then be turned over to the national government after the franchise expires.

Under Republic Act No. 11506, SMC will enjoy tax exemption during the construction period, which some groups, including the Action Economic Reforms, had criticized.

These tax perks include not paying income taxes, value-added taxes, percentage taxes, excise taxes, documentary stamp taxes, customs duties and tariffs, as well as property taxes on land, buildings, and personal property.

The group is also exempted from shelling out money for business taxes, franchise taxes, and supervision fees collected by any national or local government authority.

Ang in December also said SMC had expressed its intent to operate and maintain the crowded NAIA, after Megawide Construction Corp. and GMR Infrastructure lost their original proponent status for the NAIA rehabilitation project.

Shares in SMC fell .47 percent or 60 centavos to close at ₱127 each on Thursday.