DOTC to study San Miguel proposal for Manila airport

by Rosemarie Francisco, Reuters

Posted at May 15 2014 02:24 PM | Updated as of May 15 2014 10:24 PM

MANILA - San Miguel Corp, the Philippines' most diversified conglomerate, is seeking to build a new $10 billion international airport on reclaimed land along Manila Bay to replace the capital's ageing and congested airport.

San Miguel President Ramon Ang told Reuters on Thursday the proposal includes building four runways and an elevated toll road to connect the airport to the Makati financial district, as well as reclaiming more land.

Ang said the proposal had been presented to President Benigno Aquino on Wednesday. News of the project was reported earlier by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The Inquirer report quoted Ang as saying San Miguel was ready to fund the entire project itself but was also open to taking on partners.

A transport ministry spokesman said the government would invite San Miguel to make a formal proposal. The ministry had previously said that any proposals for a new airport would be subject to state scrutiny and the project open to competition.

"We are open to the proposal so far, but we'll need more information to study it properly," said Michael Arthur Sagcal, spokesman for the Transportation and Communications department.

San Miguel wants to build the new airport on reclaimed land along Manila-Cavite Coastal Road, which is owned by CyberBay Corp, a company partly owned by Ang and where he is the chairman.

CyberBay shares climbed as much as 12.8 percent on Thursday following the report while San Miguel fell 1.8 percent as the main index slid 0.3 percent.

San Miguel, which also owns a stake in flag carrier Philippine Airlines, announced last year its intention to build the new international airport, which it said would replace Manila's decades-old Ninoy Aquino International Airport.