The Battle Of Tycoons For Better Air Transportation

The roll of dice between the tycoons in the Philippines has started to play when San Miguel Corporation, one of the largest corporations in the Philippines, proposed a 700-billion ($14 billion) facility to build a new airport in contra with the group of Henry Sy, a billionaire rival of SMC Inc.

SMC spoke with a tone of laissez-faire that the air facility they will going to put up will have no string attached with the Government when it said, thru its President Ramon S. Ang, that “We will finance everything, build everything by ourselves, and take the risk”. This has always been a good idea to insulate the business industry from the pressure of government institutions or government-owned and controlled corporations – from contract dealings, with regard to payments, work stoppage, and public economic demand, i.e., fulfillment of public welfare.

The area covered is very large in that it even covers the current Manila Airport Complex. The area is about 600 hectares with a proposal from SMI INC., of $20 billion air facilities.

The area, said the President of SMI INC., will be converted into a “new business district.” This seemed so good to the public because it means more job opportunities will blissfully shower the populace of the said area.

The President of the Philippines, since election campaign, was already vocal about an initiative on massive infrastructures that he will be going to set when elected. He is counting on private investors (on air facility companies) as Metro Manila struggle to cope up with traffic congestions.

This is can become handy due to government’s active participation in economic developments or projects in partnership with private business entities through its Private-Public Partnership scheme which paved the way for the invisible hand of the government to enter into markets.

On the other hand, All-Asia Resources & Reclamation Corp., countered on the proposal of SMI INC., with $20 billion for air facilities and even seaport near a naval and air base at Sangley Point in Manila.

Forecasting on the traffic congestions in Manila, International Air Transport Association (Iata) said that “Air passengers passing through Manila will probably more than double to 140 million by 2035, from about 60 million in 2014. The present airport, with four terminals, is already handling traffic in excess of its capacity of 31 million fliers a year, according to Iata.”

Then it went on that the construction of air facilities will improve the country’s tourism industry. It should be as the present NAIA is already suffering from international intrigue due to its poor performance flights.

Finally, the Government has just said that the proposals are now being reviewed. What comes next would be a big surprise both on the public and air transportation in the country.