MACTAN, Cebu: Emerging as the best bidder for the operation and refurbishing of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), the Megawide-GMR consortium dismissed allegations it is financially unstable and vowed to transform the central Philippine airport into a world-class facility worthy of the province’s rich heritage.
Megawide-GMR has submitted the highest bid of P14.4-billion as upfront payment to the Philippine government for the right to carry out and operate the MCIA project. On top of that, the consortium said it is also investing P17.5 billion for the construction of new and additional structures for the airport complex.
However, Sen. Sergio Osmeña 3rd and other lawmakers have cast doubts over the group’s track record and financial capability, even threatening to sue the DOTC if the agency insists on awarding the contract to the consortium.
As a result of the lawmakers’ objection, along with the much-publicized protest by the Filinvest group, the final awarding of the contract has been delayed for over a month.
“We have been very transparent during the bidding process. We have disclosed all information demanded from us by the DOTC [Department of Transportation and Communications] and it was accepted. We maintain that the accusations have no merit and were baseless,” Andrew Acquaah-Harrison, deputy chief executive officer of the Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport, told reporters at a news briefing here on Friday.
Acquaah-Harrison reiterated that GMR is the third largest single airport operator in the world, saying anyone may check its track record.
“These accusations are being used as a fundamental tool to try to prevent us from winning this bid. What is happening is unfair for Cebuanos,” he said.
In the same briefing, the consortium unveiled the conceptual architectural design for the passenger terminals, showing how the MCIA could be the world’s first resort-gateway.
“The airport terminals will reflect the rich Cebuano heritage in a state-of-the-art design with a soothing resort-like atmosphere conceptualized by international and Cebuano designers,” Megawide chief marketing officer and spokesman Louie Ferrer said.
He said it is the company’s intent to have passengers arriving in Cebu feel that the terminal is a modern structure with a sense of local culture and history. A total of 149 check-in counters for international and domestic flights will be installed, compared with the current 44 check-in counters in place.