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RLC to join bid for Mactan airport

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated December 07, 2011 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC), the property arm of tycoon John Gokongwei, has expressed interest in the 300-hectare property currently occupied by the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, joining two other industry bigwigs SM Prime Holdings Corp. and Ayala Land Inc.

“We are definitely very interested in the Mactan property. We’re interested in looking at that opportunity. We’re just waiting for the implementing rules and guidelines,” said Frederick Go, president and chief operating officer of RLC.

Go said the company aims to further beef up its presence in Cebu, which is enjoying a construction boom with the expansion of new players in sectors such as business process outsourcing, tourism-related facilities and services, universities and road infrastructure. The continued growth of the construction industry was also due to the strong demand for residential units, particularly in the urban centers.

There are an estimated 30 medium and high-rise buildings to rise in Cebu by 2015.

“We have a lot of investments in Cebu. We would like to explore additional opportunities there,” Go said.

Among RLC’s projects in Cebu include Amisa under its high-end Luxuria brand, residential subdivisions Blue Coast Residences and Aspen Heights, Azalea Place, Robinsons Cybergate Cebu, Robinsons Place and Summit Circle.

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority wants to develop a state-of-the-art and world-class airport to accommodate growing tourists in the city.

MCIAA general manager Nigel Paul Villarete earlier said there were 33,119 incoming and outgoing domestic flight passengers and 6,957 incoming and outgoing international flight passengers from January to September this year.

Among the options being considered by MCIAA is the possible privatization or sale of the airport’s current location to fund the construction of a new airport.

MCIAA is also said to be considering transferring the airport to Cordova to ease the traffic problem in Lapu-Lapu City and Mandaue City as the local government can build a wide road parallel to the runway.

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