‘Mega consortium’ told: Spend billions outside NCR instead of NAIA rehab

The bilyonaryos who have formed a consortium proposing a P267-billion rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) are better off putting their money developing areas outside of Metro Manila.

This was the advice given by Philippine Star columnist Cito Beltran said the travel woes associated with NAIA could be solved by better efficiency of its management and airlines, not by a cosmetic overhaul.

“Instead of throwing good money after bad, the MIAC-SMC-MVP groups might want to consider smoking the peace pipe, going out for Chinese food and just discuss life and business beyond now and beyond Metro Manila,” he said in his August 4 column.

The Manila International Airport Consortium (MIAC) is composed of the Alliance Global Group Inc., Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp, Infracorp Development, Inc., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Infrastructure Holdings Corp., and the US-based Global Infrastructure Partners.

For Beltran, the super consortium would be making a bigger difference by “developing new townships, locomobility or developing railways north and south of Manila that service commuters, container yards and industrial districts.”

It’s time to remove the Manila-centric development in the country.

“Yes, Metro Manila is still the center of the Philippines’ economic universe, but it is old, congested, expensive and has a limited lifespan and ROI (return on investment),” he added. “While there is still time and the taipans and tycoons are looking for places and businesses to invest in, history and our neighbors tell us that if we don’t invest outside the traditional center and on railways, we will all be throwing good money after bad.”