The Transportation Department said Thursday it is preparing for the start of the Swiss Challenge for the planned P735-billion New Manila International Airport project in Bulacan province in the first quarter.
“We are working on the terms of reference for the Swiss Challenge,” Transportation Undersecretary for planning Reuben Reinoso said.
Swiss Challenge is a form of procurement, usually required in an unsolicited project, where other parties are given an opportunity to challenge the bid of the proponent.
Reinoso said the department was expecting San Miguel Corp. to start construction of the new airport this year, or once the Swiss Challenge was completed.
San Miguel president Ramon Ang described the project as “a game changer” that would bring more foreign tourists to the Philippines.
The New Manila Airport Project will be undertaken over a period of five to seven years to full completion.
The project, which was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte in April 2018, involves the construction of a world-class, major international gateway with four to six parallel runways, modern terminals, a seaport, and an industrial zone.
San Miguel proposed to build the massive airport complex on a 2,500-hectare property in Bulakan, Bulacan―just 27 kilometers away from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, or 45 minutes from any point in Metro Manila via multiple expressways.
It said the new airport was expected to create one million jobs during the construction phase. The company said in a statement it would hire the best Filipino talents from here and abroad―especially from among the ranks of overseas Filipino workers.
San Miguel tapped Standard Chartered Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. as co-financial advisors for the planned project.