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BCDA to build Clark International Airport under DOTC Leadership

The state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) will undertake the construction and development of Clark International Airport under the leadership of Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Mar Roxas, according to its president and chief executive officer Atty. Arnel Paciano Casanova.

BCDA wrote Sec. Mar Roxas to map out its plans and strategies for major infrastructures under BCDA’s ownership and mandate such as the Clark International Airport. A coordination meeting was held in September with DOTC Undersecretary Rene Limcaoco, where BCDA coordinated and requested DOTC to provide the milestones in delivering the Clark International Airport Gateway Terminals and for DOTC to chart the policy and regulatory framework for the development of the Philippine aviation industry.

In an unprecedented move and a show of corporate solidarity, the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) and the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) supported the initiative for the BCDA to spearhead the construction and development of the Clark International Airport. CIAC will focus on its expertise in operating the airport and attracting airlines to move to Clark thereby creating the traffic demand while BCDA shall build the infrastructure using its legal mandate, experienced team of engineers, and financial capacity.

“We welcome the resolution passed by the CIAC Board for the BCDA to take the lead in the development of the Clark International Airport while the CDC Board, on the other hand supported the move,” Casanova said. He added that the BCDA Board accepted the task to fulfill its mandate. This brings the two BCDA subsidiaries united under BCDA’s wings.

“The only way to build this vital airport terminal is through teamwork and leveraging on each other strengths. We want to be a team under the guidance and leadership of Sec. Roxas. We have a very short window to make this happen and we want to do it now with the unity of purpose and singular focus in delivering the infrastructure which our country needs for a long time,” Casanova stated.

Casanova said the BCDA has the legal authority, core competence and the financial capability to undertake a mega utility project such as the expansion and development of the Clark International Airport pursuant to its mandate under R.A. 7227.

Casanova emphasized that the BCDA owns the properties and assets of the CIAC and CDC which gives it legal authority to undertake the development of the airport. “The CDC and the CIAC are 100 percent subsidiaries of the BCDA,” he said.

He said the BCDA has proven its competence with its track record of delivering to government the world-class Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and succesfully concluding a public-private partnership agreement with the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) for its operation and maintenance. It has also successfully developed the former Fort Bonifacio now Bonifacio Global City and the former Villamor Airbase, now Newport City.

Casanova pointed out that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) considers the SCTEX as a model Official Development Assistance (ODA) project. He added that the operations of the SCTEX, which has been turned over to the private sector— the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC)—is also a model public-private-partnership agreement.

“We undertook most of our development projects via public-private partnership (PPP),” Casanova said. “BCDA has the financial muscle to fund big ticket projects,” he added.

“Moreover, we want to show that the Filipinos are capable of implementing projects with transparency, integrity, quality, at the best cost and on time which is doable under the Aquino administration,” Casanova emphasized.

He remarked that the development of the airport would be through PPP as well and will commence within the term of President Aquino given the urgency for a world-class airport.

The development of the Clark International Airport is expected to boost the country’s economy with increased tourist arrivals and the creation of more investment opportunities and employment.