MPIC chief Pangilinan again says he’s interested in Sangley airport

Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2022 08:24 PM

An artist's rendition of the canceled proposal for the upgrade of the Sangley Point International Airport. Handout
An artist's rendition of the canceled proposal for the upgrade of the Sangley Point International Airport. Handout

MANILA - Metro Pacific Investments Corp chairman and CEO Manny Pangilinan on Wednesday said he is “personally” interested in the Sangley airport. 

During the release of MPIC’s first half results, Pangilinan said Sangley was “a good collateral project for NAIA.” 

“I think the runway is capable of being fixed and expanded. It's a parallel runway to NAIA. In the long run, it could be a replacement airport for NAIA," said Pangilinan.

This was not the first time, MPIC expressed interest in the Sangley airport project. In 2019, MPIC also said Sangley could help decongest NAIA.

A planned upgrade of Sangley by a consortium made up of a Chinese company and Lucio Tan's Marcoasia was scrapped last year by the Cavite provincial government. 

The Cavite LGU said it canceled its award for the planned $10 billion airport saying the consortium which won the deal showed that it wasn’t fully committed to the project.

Pangilinan’s comment meanwhile comes almost 2 years after the government also scrapped a deal with a consortium of the country’s biggest conglomerates to rehabilitate NAIA. MPIC was among the members of the so-called super consortium. 

Meanwhile, MPIC said its net income this year may approach its pre-pandemic performance after COVID-19 restrictions were eased. 

For the first half of the year, core net income rose by 24 percent to P7.5 billion, the company said. 

Pangilinan said the company may approach the P15-billion mark for 2022, which is close to its 2019 net income of P15.6 billion. 

Several units of the conglomerate reported double-digit growth in income. 

Meralco's net income is up by 15 percent to P13.1 billion, while Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation's net income also jumped by 33 percent to P2.5 billion driven by higher toll road traffic. 

Pangilinan said the conglomerate plans to further expand businesses and investments this year. 

However, the company is not interested in investing more in railways after its subsidiary which operated the LRT-1reported a core net loss of P329 million. 

"Probably not too much interest in rails given the experience in LRT-1,"

LIght Rail Manila Corp, which operates LRT-1 has been asking for a fare increase for several years now, but the government has not granted this.

Meralco, meanwhile, is eyeing nuclear energy as part of its power supply mix. Meralco President Ray Espinosa said they are looking into the commercial nuclear option.

"We are seriously studying the various technologies developing today, especially in the area of small nuclear reactors which I think is best suited for the country rather the conventional monolithic type of nuclear powerplant," Espinosa said.

MPIC has recently acquired additional Meralco shares for P7.8 billion equivalent to 2 percent of issued capital stock. This brought MPIC's effective ownership in Meralco to 47.46 percent.

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