MANILA -- Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya maintained that the awarding of the Mactan-Cebu airport project to the Megawide-GMR consortium was done according to law and policy, in good faith, and with the interests of the Filipino people in mind.
Speaking on "[email protected]" on Tuesday, Abaya said rules and procedures were followed in the bidding process, contrary to criticisms from Senator Serge Osmeña.
Osmeña has filed a petition with the Supreme Court to disqualify Megawide and its Indian partner, GMR, from the P17.5 billion Mactan-Cebu airport project.
He has raised issues about Megawide-GMR's alleged conflict of interest in the project.
According to Abaya, however, the senator's issues were just the same questions raised by the rival bidder, Filinvest.
"We entertained -- to as much as possible to the extent of bending backwards -- all issues raised. Everything was done according to law, policy, good faith and with the interests of people in mind," he said.
"We deliberated upon it, we checked our rules, we checked our intentions as well. We asked Megawide-GMR to answer the same questions. After collating, we were satisfied [with their reply]," he added.
The transportation chief said the rehabilitation of the Mactan-Cebu airport should bring its capacity from the current 5 million to up to 8 million passengers a year.
Abaya said he expects groundwork on the airport project to begin within the year.
He said phase one would entail the rehabilitation and extension of the existing terminal as well as the construction of a domestic terminal. Phase two, meanwhile, will involve the construction of additional facilities including a runway.