MPIC still keen on Sangley airport project

THE Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) remains open to Cavite’s Sangley airport project, its chairman said.

“I think the investment to make a second runway in Sangley operable is much less than building a new airport, so that’s why we are open to it… We’ll… probably take the plunge… It will have to be with half of our eyes closed,” MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan told The Chiefs segment on Cignal TV’s One News Channel on Monday.

He said the Cavite airport is a good complement to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) because of their proximity.

“The orientation of the runway is similar to the orientation of the existing runway of the NAIA, so it’s a good second runway to Manila,” Mr. Pangilinan said, referring to the Sangley airport.

But the company will have to assess the “robustness” of air travel in the future, he noted.

“The demand for airports is very evident now,” he added, noting that this keeps the company waiting. “We are fortunate that we have a fairly, under normal times, robust domestic travel market unlike Singapore and Hong Kong.”

Mr. Pangilinan also said the company will need a partner if it decides to bid for the Sangley airport project.

Lucio C. Tan’s MacroAsia Corp. and its partner China Communications Construction Co. Ltd. negotiated with the Cavite province for the project last year, but the latter canceled its notice of selection and award due to the “various deficiencies in the submission of requirements to conclude the joint venture agreement.”

The province has issued a new invitation for firms to submit joint venture proposals for the airport project.

TOLLWAYS
Mr. Pangilinan also said on Monday that MPIC received an offer to “combine” with the toll roads of an “offshore” company.

“We received an offer to combine. This is an offshore tollways operator [combining] with our consort of — I think I’m talking too much — with our own,” he said.

“But I think if we are able to achieve (or) put all those tollways together, we’ll be the largest tollways operator in ASEAN,” he added.

MPIC saw its second-quarter core net income climb 82% to P3.5 billion, as more industries reopened.

For the first half, MPIC’s consolidated core net income rose 13% to P6 billion.

MPIC shares closed 0.80% lower at P3.72 apiece on Tuesday.

MPIC is one of three key Philippine units of First Pacific, the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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