Lucio Tan, Chinese firm bag Sangley Airport contract

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Businessman Lucio Tan's firm MacroAsia and its Chinese partner bag the ₱500-billion contract to upgrade Sangley Airport in Cavite into an international gateway.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 14) — Tycoon Lucio Tan's MacroAsia Corporation and its Chinese partner bagged the ₱500-billion contract to upgrade Sangley Airport in Cavite into an international gateway.

MacroAsia, which is engaged in aviation support, told the Philippine Stock Exchange that it received a notice of award Friday from the Provincial Government of Cavite for the project.

Tan also owns Philippine Airlines, the country's flag carrier.

The consortium of China Communications Construction Company Ltd. or CCCC and MacroAsia emerged in December as the lone bidder for the project, which will be implemented in a public-private partnership scheme with the local government. Cavite officials gave the green light to start phase one of the Sangley Point International Airport for ₱208.5 billion.

CCCC, a state-owned construction firm in China, was blacklisted by the World Bank from 2011 to 2017 for engaging in "fraudulent practices" in building the Philippines National Roads Improvement and Management Project. The company built the Macau International Airport on reclaimed land and expanded the Hong Kong New Airport, according to its website.

Growing frustrated by flight delays at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered in June last year to open Sangley Point for domestic flights after five months. The port is also known as the Danilo Atienza Air Base in Cavite City.

The deal, one of the new projects included in the government's list of priority infrastructure projects, also involves land reclamation to expand the small airport.

MacroAsia said that it would need 12 to 18 months for the consortium to complete the detailed engineering design for the project, as well as secure funding.

Sangley is a 15-minute ferry ride from the CCP Bay Terminal in Manila. The Department of Transportation earlier said the airport is ready to take in propeller-type cargo planes, but would have to be expanded to accommodate bigger commercial planes.