CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga, Philippines – Business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan plans to convert the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) here into a world-class passenger terminal that includes a high-speed railway linking the airport to Metro Manila.
Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) president and chief executive officer Victor Jose Luciano told a recent press conference here that Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which Pangilinan heads, had already linked up with San Miguel Corp. in a bid to construct a new modern Terminal 2 building at the DMIA at an estimated cost of some $150 million.
Re-elected Vice Gov. Joseller Guiao reported to the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Pamcham) that he and other incoming provincial officials led by Governor-elect Lilia Pineda and outgoing President Arroyo met recently with Pangilinan who bared to them plans to construct a new high-speed railway to connect DMIA to Metro Manila.
“He (Pangilinan) is investing heavily in Pampanga for he is himself a Kapampangan with roots from Apalit,” Guiao said.
He said the plan is to construct the new railways between the lanes of the North Luzon Expressway.
Guiao said Pangilinan’s investments in the railways is expected to be handled by his Landco Pacific Corp.
CIAC officials announced that its joint venture special committee (JVSC) had favored Philco Aero Inc. for “detailed negotiations” for the Terminal 2 project. Later, SMC was reported to have bought into Philco Aero, Inc. to own up to 60 percent of the firm.
Luciano said that Pangilinan’s team up with SMC had already been confirmed, although details of the deal were not immediately available.
CIAC’s apparent support to the Philco Aero Inc. project, however, has prompted a Malaysian consortium to appeal to incoming President Benigno Aquino III to “take a second look” at the firm’s offer to construct Terminal 2.
Willian Chee of Malaysia-based Bristeel Overseas Ventures, Inc. appealed to the Aquino administration to “take a second hard look at our $150-million proposal and at our track record and experience to finance and complete the project.”
Chee said the DMIA project his consortium is interested in “will just be the start of bigger Malaysian investments into multi-billion dollar transportation and tourism infrastructure projects in and around Clark freeport.”
CIAC officials who asked not to be identified said that the entry of Pangilinan in the proposed Terminal 2 project has further boosted the qualification of Philco Aero Inc.
Pangilinan is the chief executive officer and managing director of the First Pacific Group where he holds the positions of president commissioner of P.T. Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk, the largest food company in Indonesia.
By Ding Cervantes (The Philippine Star)
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