AIRPORT FOR SALE
Ayala firm wants domestic airport
By Francis Allan L. Angelo
A MANILA-BASED real estate developer is one of the companies interested in buying the Iloilo domestic airport site in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.
Kagawad Eduardo Peñaredondo confirmed that Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) is bent in buying the 62-hectare lot once the new international airport in Cabatuan-Sta. Barbara area operates.
Ayala Land is the Philippines' largest and only full-line property developer of real estate and hotels and is one of the most successful operators of prime commercial spaces in the country.
Aside from the Ayala-owned firm, also mentioned were “two local firms and foreign outfit” that also want to develop the old airport facility.
A source from the Ayala Group of Companies also confirmed Peñaredondo’s statement saying the ALI is planning to put up a business center in the area.
“If the new airport opens, there would be no problem putting up high rise buildings in Iloilo City. We want to develop the old airport site into a business destination just like in Makati and Cebu City,” the source said.
Based on the computations of Air Transportation Office (ATO) Manager Allan Java, sale of the Mandurriao airport lot will generate the national government P6-12billion, which is enough to pay the loan used to construct the international airport.
Early this year, the ATO has begun the inventory of existing structures at the Mandurriao airport lot to facilitate its sale to the winning in the future.
Peñaredondo also revealed that Mayor Jerry Treñas had lobbied with President Gloria Arroyo to use the proceeds from the sale for developmental projects in Panay.
Peñaredondo said the national government is planning to use the revenues from the old airport for the construction of a superhighway from Iloilo to Kalibo, Aklan.
“But all these are still under negotiation with the City Planning and Development Office representing the Iloilo City government,” Peñaredondo said.
Based on the present land value assessment of Iloilo City, the old airport lot costs between P1,000 to P2,000 per square meter.
Engineer Jaime Puzon of the Taisei-Shimizu Joint Venture, contractor of the new airport facility, said they expect to finish the airport by middle of 2007.