MVP open to partnering with Sy or Ang for new Manila airport

MANILA, Philippines – Manuel V. Pangilinan, the chairman of infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), said he is open to partnering with the Sy family's Belle Corporation or Ramon Ang's San Miguel Corporation for a proposal to build a modern international airport in the country.

"We're open. We don't have any commitment with anybody with respect to the new airport, so we're open to partner [with] whoever, whatever the process the government decides. But we need one airport pretty badly I think, a new one," Pangilinan told reporters on the sidelines of the MVP Bossing Awards last week in Taguig City.

There have been two unsolicited proposals for a new Manila airport submitted to the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. (READ: IATA to PH gov't: Act on airport proposals now)

These are Belle Corporation's and Solar Group's All-Asia Resources & Reclamation Corporation's (ARRC) $50-billion airport and economic zone at Sangley Point, as well as San Miguel's $10-billion airport on reclaimed land in Manila Bay.

Ang said last June that San Miguel is in talks with Pangilinan on a possible partnership for an airport development project.

Pangilinan said he hasn't committed to anybody yet.

"There are no details yet on what those projects will entail. I don't know. But I think, all of the proponents are correct that the country does need a new airport," Pangilinan said.

Asked if he prefers Manila Bay over Sangley Point as location for a new airport, he said it will be up to the Duterte administration. (READ: Tugade open to unsolicited proposals for new airport)

"Ultimately it's a government decision. And if the government decides to put it here, there, or wherever, we follow," Pangilinan replied.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had recently urged the Philippine government to act on airport development proposals immediately, to ease congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

IATA said it expects about 140 million passengers passing through Manila airports annually by 2035, from the current 60 million.

Some 34.1 million passengers passed through NAIA's terminals in 2014 – higher than its handling capacity of 28 million passengers per year. (READ: DOTr's hits and misses in 1st 100 days: NAIA, EDSA traffic, MRT3–