Monday, December 30, 2013

₱9.83 Billion down payment; Philippines expects delivery of Korean fighter jets in June 2015

GIVING FORCE TO PHILIPPINE AIR This is the kind of fighter jet—called the FA-50—the Philippines hopes to acquire from South Korea following President Aquino's two-day visit to Seoul. This combat aircraft can carry an array of weaponry, such as air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, and precision-guided bombers, and is equipped with a night vision imaging system. Photo from www.koreaareo.com

 

Philippines Defense Minister Voltaire Gazmin on Saturday said the government expected the first of the 12 Korean FA-50 lead in fighter jets to be delivered in June 2015.

 

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Gazmin made this statement after the defense department recommended that President Benigno Aquino III allow the payment of the 52-percent down payment for the 18.9-billion fighter jets.

 

"We recommended the approval of the DP (down payment) and progress billing," he said.

 

Earlier, Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said state agencies were only allowed by law to pay a 15-percent down payment, with the rest to be paid upon the delivery of the goods.

 

Anything higher than that would require the approval of the Chief Executive, Manalo said.

 

The Philippine government's orders for the jets, manufactured by the government-owned Korean Aerospace Industries Inc., were among the highlights of President Aquino's recent state visit to South Korea.

 

The acquisition of the FA-50s would boost the capability of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) for the country's territorial defense.

 

The PAF decommissioned its F-5s, the last of the Air Force's fighter jets, in 2005 after the government focused on internal security operations and poured most of the military's resources on ground troops from the Philippine Army.

 

But the Armed Forces of the Philippines found itself having to shift to external defense as China became more aggressive in claiming territories under its so-called nine-dash-line map that includes a number of islands and shoals within the Philippines' territory.

 

Stepping up the military's modernization efforts, the Aquino administration purchased two warships, which are decommissioned US Coast Guard high-endurance cutters, for the Philippine Navy. – Depensa.org

 

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Philippines Bidding starts for ₱7.7-Billion transport terminal project South Manila

NEW TERMINAL. The Transportation department invites bidders for the P2.5 billion Southwest Terminal Project. Photo from Photo from Shutterstock.


Philippines Government has allocated 2.5 billion for the construction of a 2.9-hectare structure that will replace the interim terminal of provincial buses along the Manila-Cavite Expressway.

 

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) has just commenced bidding for the construction of the Integrated Transport System (ITS) Project – Southwest Terminal in the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) property in Paranaque City. This is part of the 7.7-billion ITS project that the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board has approved in November.

 

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Part of the three-terminal ITS system, the Southwest terminal is envisioned to connect commuters from Cavite and Batangas to urban transportation systems such as the Light Rail Transit (LRT) line 1, city buses, taxis and other public utility vehicles plying routes in Metro Manila.

 

According to the DoTC Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), the project covers the financing, design and construction of passenger terminal building, arrival and departure bays, public information system, ticketing and baggage handling facilities and park-ride facilities. The winning contractor will also operate and maintain the terminal for a period of 35 years.

 

The project will be implemented using a Build-Transfer-Operate arrangement and will be bided out through public-private partnership (PPP).

 

Interested bidders can avail of the bid documents worth 150,000 starting January 10. Only bidders who availed of the bid documents can participate in the pre-bid conference on February 10.

 

To qualify to bid for the project, the DOTC BAC said bidders should comply with legal, technical and financial capability requirements. The deadline for submission and opening of bid documents is May 15, 2014.

 

Aside from the terminal in Paranaque City, government will bid out projects to construct centralized bus terminals within the Food Terminal Inc. complex in Taguig City and in a soon-to-be-determined area in Quezon City.

 

The ITS is an offshoot of President Aquino's Executive Order 67, signed in February 21, 2012. The President has instructed the DoTC to head the agencies that will put up central bus terminals in the north, south and southwest of Metro Manila for provincial buses.

 

The operation of ITS terminals is seen as a significant move to decongest Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA).

 

The winning bidder will finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the project for a period of 35 years. – With report from Tempo and Rappler.com

 

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

World’s largest Mexican Senaloa drug cartel infiltrated the Philippines; seized 84 kilos of shabu in Batangas’ ex Gov Leviste

Sinaloa drug cartel leaders Joaquin Guzman (left) and Valenzuela are seen in this August 2012 Reuters file photo. Guzman or "El Chapo" escaped from Mexican prison in 2001 and is tagged by Forbes as the most powerful criminal on the planet. Philippine police have confirmed that Sinaloa elements are now players in the multibillion illegal drugs industry in the country, with initial evidence of their presence found in a Christmas Day raid in a Batangas City compound. 

 

Mexican drug cartel operating in Philippines – PNP

 

Philippine police on Thursday (December 26) said they have detected evidence that the Mexican drug cartel is operating in the Philippines, with initial information indicating the cartel has started with financing operations of some Chinese and West African drug syndicates in the country.

 

Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima confirmed the bad news in a briefing Thursday at Camp Crame, saying police now hold evidence that some personalities of the Sinaloa drug cartel are operating in the country. According to Purisima, the archipelago's porous borders make tracking the multinational syndicates' operations harder.

 

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"Ngayon nakikita natin na nagsisimula pa lang sila. Kailangan aksyunan natin agad para hindi na tuluyang makapasok [Now, we see they're just starting out. We need to move fast so they won't get a firmer foothold]," Purisima said.

 

The PNP said it had not determined yet the exact number of cartel members who infiltrated the country. Part of the investigation is how the cartel was able to penetrate the country. "So, we are still in the process of determining what is the history behind the arrest of these people," Purisima said, referring to the Christmas Day raid on an illegal drugs operation in Batangas that confirmed the hand of Sinaloa cartel members.

 

At half past eight of Christmas morning, raiders seized 84 kilos of shabu worth 420 million from a compound owned by former Batangas Governor Antonio Leviste in Barangay Inosloban, Batangas City.

 

A Chinese national, Gary Tan, and Filipino couple Argay and Rochelle Argenos were arrested at the compound located within the LPL (Lauro Panganiban Leviste) Ranch.

 

Purisima said a manhunt is on for a certain Jorge Torres, who had rented the Leviste compound.

 

The former governor Leviste was recently released on parole from the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) after serving four years of his sentence for homicide in the killing of a top aide.

 

Purisima said PNP lawyers are checking the possible liability of the owner of the compound, Leviste, in the illegal drugs operation. President Aquino himself had directed Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to determine the circumstances behind the decision of the Board of Pardons and Parole to grant parole to Leviste, despite a highly publicized incident that showed him leaving his cell even without permission from prison officials or the court.

 

"We are studying the possibility of confiscating [the compound] in favor of the government because [it was] used for [illegal] drugs business…but we all know they were just leasing the property and we will be consulting our lawyers," Purisima, however, said.

 

Sinaloa leader most wanted US drug trafficker

 

The Mexican embassy declined to comment on the Philippine police's revelations

 

The Sinaloa cartel is reputed to be the largest source of illegal drugs to the United States.

 

Its main leader, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001. He is now America's most wanted drug trafficker, as well as being considered by Forbes as the most powerful criminal on the planet.

 

More than 77,000 people have been killed in Mexico in connection with organized crime since then-president Felipe Calderon launched a nationwide war against the cartels after taking office in 2006.

 

It's complicated - Purisima

 

Purisima admitted Sinaloa drug cartel's Philippine presence complicates the burdens of the PNP in checking the multibillion illegal drugs operations in the country. He explained why: "It will be more hard work. Actually, that's part of what we're studying.  We are 7,000 islands. If you go down south you can freely go to Sabah. Sometimes you don't even have to go through immigration. You just hop over to the next island and ride a banca. In our piers before, there were reports that containers were not opened, not checked, so we have suspicions but we do not have evidence. So there are so many ways of transporting drugs into our country and . . . sometimes we have seen laboratories also being set up in different parts of the country," Purisima said.

 

The initial investigation confirmed that the Mexicans (Sinaloa) "have a hand in the operations of the Chinese. The names used are Chinese. They have apparent collusion and of course, that's how they usually start, as a partnership, i.e., I finance the operations, you do the work, and later, we will go our separate ways," Purisima elaborated.

 

The head of the PNP's Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AIDSOTF) said some teams have been deployed to hunt personalities involved in the operation of the Sinaloa drug cartel. "Previously, we have reports that the Mexicans are here…This is the first time that we have confirmed that Mexicans are already here," Senior Supt. Bartolome Tobias said.

 

"They are Mexicans and Chinese. There are other nationalities who are here pero hindi sila ganun ka-organized but so many nationalities are here. Sometimes they are involved for a short time. Sometimes they are part of a bigger organization but they are also in league with the West African Drug Syndicate. So halo-halo [it's a mixed bag]. The investigation is ongoing," Purisima said.

 

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Earlier reported by the InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

Leaked: Bureau of Customs’ Boss is behind the $171 Billion Dollars Rice smuggling for already 2 years with bribing King David Tan

A general view of newly planted rice seedlings is seen at a rice field in Gloria, Oriental Mindoro in central Philippines November 28, 2013. A Goliath in rice smuggling has cornered the trade in this grain by plying officials and rank-and-file employees with cash gifts that have amounted to 6 billion pesos (US$135 billion) over the last two years.. Photo Reuters


$171b rice smuggling payoff in the Philippines unveiled

 

MANILA - A Goliath in rice smuggling has cornered the trade in this grain by plying Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials and rank-and-file employees with cash gifts that have amounted to 6 billion pesos (S$171.25 billion) over the last two years.

 

A former BOC official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said one of the main challenges facing the new management at the bureau was whether it would dismantle the network built by a certain "David Tan" who was designated as point man when rice-smuggling transactions were centralized two years ago.

 

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"David Tan operates behind various brokerage firms. If you want to bring in rice without paying the right taxes, you have to go through him because the BOC officials deal only with him. The BOC officials do not entertain any other rice smuggler except Tan," said the source, who described the rice smuggler as "young and with deep connections in rice exporting countries in Asia, especially Vietnam."

 

"They called these special operations or palusot because the rice shipments had no documents or import permit. After David Tan informs his connections where his shipments are arriving, the smuggling network goes into motion, from those who sign the papers to those who open the exit gates in the ports," the former official said.

 

It was not clear whether "David Tan" was the same as "Mr. T" who, according to a new BOC official who talked to the Inquirer last week, was one of three big traders whose under-the-table deals with corrupt examiners, appraisers and other frontline personnel at the bureau were the cause of the agency's failure to meet its revenue collection goals.

 

The new bureau official referred to the other two big traders as "Big Mama" and "Ma'am T."

 

Old-timers in the BOC told the Inquirer on Monday that there was no reason to go after "Big Mama," "Ma'am T" and "Mr. T" because the papers of the three traders "appeared to be in order."

 

The case is presumably the same with "David Tan."

 

The former BOC official said the scheme involved at least two top bureau officials (who get 10,000 pesos to 20,000 pesos each per container), at least one major port official (5,000 pesos to 10,000 pesos per container) and more than a dozen desk employees whose signatures (1,000 pesos per container) were needed in the release papers of the smuggled rice.

 

He estimated that Tan brought in an average of 1,000 TEU or 6-meter equivalent unit containers a week (a container can load 510 cavans of rice) or a weekly take of 37 million to 62 million pesos.

 

Kickbacks

 

In the last two years since Tan monopolized rice smuggling in the country, the former official said kickbacks had reached between 3.85 billion and 6.45 billion pesos.

 

The former official said roughly one-third of the kickbacks went to just one official who was believed to be representing an "influential" group.

 

"Tan would pay low taxes by claiming that the TEUs contained goods of lesser value than rice. Often, his group declares the rice shipments as various construction materials that are also heavy but carry lower duties," the former official said.

 

Smuggled rice is usually brought in through the two ports in Manila and the ports in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao, the former official said.

 

He said rice and oil were the two most smuggled goods in the country because of the huge profits involved in bringing these commodities in on the sly.

 

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Who is Tan?

 

In October, Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) president and former Abono Representative Rosendo So urged the government to look into reports that a certain "David Tan" was the head of the country's biggest rice smuggling syndicate and called on BOC officials to identify him so he could be arrested.

 

"We want to know who is David Tan and why the authorities have allowed him to allegedly manipulate rice imports for his own and his group's profit," So said.

 

Nothing happened, as in President Aquino's trying to shame BOC officials and employees into leaving by singling the bureau out for corruption in his State of the Nation Address in July.

 

Former Representative Ruffy Biazon whom the president had appointed to head the bureau, reorganised the agency to put an end to corruption there, but those who were shuffled challenged their reassignment in the Court of Appeals, frustrating reforms and keeping their lucrative posts.

 

Biazon beat them in leaving the bureau by quitting in early December after being implicated in the 10-billion pesos pork barrel scam.

 

Earlier reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer and ASIAOne Network

Monday, December 23, 2013

UK Huffingtonpost said: Privatization of Philippine controlled Corporation is a big Mistake, Empowering Oligarchic to control the people

 

If Privatization for government owned corporations in the western countries is highly recommended, in the Philippines its opposite according to the analysis of the western experts.

 

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Only few oligarchic are controlling the several millions of Philippine Citizen and even doing some collusion to keep rising their gains and pushing the people into a deep poverty.

 

Philippines is divided sharply into 2 type of people; the richest and the poorest. If this is not familiar by the ordinary citizens, the world is watching the Philippines and is openly heard part of usual discussion by the OECD countries' elites talking about the 2 types of people in the Philippines – the richest and the poorest.

 

I (Prince Dan We) a contributor of this site, a lumad (aborigine) of the Southern Philippines recently visited Paris and met several French people and other citizens from 13 countries in a special gathering called "Economist Friends of Jeane in Paris" where we started the meeting by a simple introduction.

 

My name was lastly called and without my knowledge that my introduction was already planned by the organizer "Jeane" to be the highlight of an upfront discussion of our gathering which was told to me later after the gathering. After my introduction Jean stand up and shared something he learned about his recent visit in the Philippines, "the Philippines is a very beautiful country". He said.. but the Philippines have only 2 types of people.. The "poorest" which is the majority and the "richest" which are only few and mostly migrants to the Philippines; how true is my findings representative from the Philippines? He was pointing towards me.

 

I replied, no its not 2 but 3. The richest, the poorest and the rising middle class. But he insisted that based on their research, Philippine middle class are still remained at the bracket of the poorest based on income level and the rising middle class is still very few compare to the poorest and the richest.

 

The poorest and the sizable number of middle class are always the victims of any economic sabotage instigated by the oligarchic of some countries like what had happened in the Philippines which should serve as our lesson, Jean said.

 

Our gathering's purpose was not intended to offend anyone but to make the other participants realized that "PROS" and 'CONS" of the systems which are applicable or not applicable to a certain countries.  Like for example the Privatization in the Philippines.  "We are the future leaders of our respective countries and we must know cases like this so we could protect the interest of the poor and the minorities of our respective countries", Jeane added.

 

The Philippines is our window for an advance preparation how to deal with social issues, weakness vs resiliency, economic issues and political issues, he added.

 

Back to the Philippines, the issue of collusion by the electric company owners resulting the electric crisis is on peak a month before Meralco's plan for an immediate hike of power price which could be more expensive than Japan and the most expensive power rate in entire Asia.

 

This issue makes me realized that other countries are watching the Philippines while we are blind about it.

 

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Philippines Electricity Crisis: How Regulatory Capture Undermines Emerging Markets

 

In its latest issue, Foreign Affairs magazine, which identified the Philippines as among the six up-and-coming countries in the 21st century, will certainly help enhance the Aquino administration's self-confidence in its macroeconomic policy -- and somehow discredit the naysayers, who have (mistakenly) dismissed the Philippine economy as a bubble in disguise.

 

Decoupling from the whimpering BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economies, Foreign Affairs editors Gideon Rose and Jonathan Tepperman have focused on emerging markets such as the Philippines, for its "combination of size, recent performance and economic potential" as well as emergence as an "outsourcing powerhouse" under the "the clean and committed stewardship" of a new administration. In a separate essay, Karen Brooks, who looked at the economic potentials of Indonesia and the Philippines as the next tiger economies, praised the Aquino administration for its "bold leadership", which unlike Indonesia's wavering government "has taken real steps to address some of its challenges." She identified two key factors, which have supposedly made the Philippines a leading contender among emerging markets; first, improvements in transparency and efficiency in fiscal spending and tax administration, and second, the Aquino administration's huge reservoir of political capital, which could be translated into swift and decisive reforms in the coming years.

 

While Brooks thoughtfully surveys a wide range of challenges bedeviling the Philippine economy, the above analysis, however, overlooks the extent to which recent reforms have not cut deep enough. And there is a failure to even mention the combined impact of the recent corruption scandals and the aftermath of the Yolanda (Haiyan) crisis on the Aquino administration's popularity, which has taken a hit in recent months.

 

What we see today in the Philippines is more a country that has come to confront its internal demons than an emerging market firmly placed on an inexorable tiger road. Nothing underscores this complex picture more than the latest uproar over an alleged collusion among power-generating companies to introduce a further hike in electricity prices. To put things into perspective, the Philippines already has Asia's most expensive electricity rates, even higher than post-Fukushima Japan. Such prohibitive rates have not only hurt ordinary consumers, but have also served as among the strongest disincentives against manufacturing investments in the country.

 

But there is a deeper lesson to draw from the Philippines' power-generation predicament. Contrary to the conventional analysis forwarded by most analysts, including Karen Brooks, what the Philippines needs the most is not more privatization and economic liberalization per se -- which have actually exacerbated rather than ameliorated the country's structural economic weaknesses since the 1990s -- but instead a stronger state that (a) can bust oligarchic collusion, and (b) protect the interest of the consumers and productive sectors of the economy. And we won't have a dramatic turnabout in the Philippines' economic fortunes unless the Aquino administration and its successors fully internalize the indispensable role of the state, which ranges from ensuring the rule of law to protecting strategic sectors of the economy against special interest, even in an era of economic globalization.

 

Privatization and Regulatory Capture

 

Ironically, the power crisis in the Philippines, which promises to retard the country's growth trajectory and its aspirations for industrial development, is not a product of excessive state intervention and public mismanagement. Instead, it is a classic example of how economic liberalization -- under the auspices of a corrupt political system and in the absence of a competitive private sector -- has handed the key sectors of the economy to a handful of oligarchs, which have prioritized profits over capacity-building and accessibility. And yet, we are still waiting for a commensurate response by the Aquino administration to such brazen strangulation of Philippines' manufacturing potentials, which ultimately rely on, among other things, the affordable availability of power and energy resources.

 

In essence, there is nothing wrong with having a competitive economy where dynamic entrepreneurs are allowed to engage in and spur a "creative destruction" of innovation to increase economic productivity for the benefit of the consumers and the overall economy. And John Maynard Keynes, who is widely recognized as the brains behind post-war, state-led capitalism in the Western world, would have never supported the monstrosity of ineffectual and corrupt state-controlled enterprises, which dominated large portions of the developing world for much of the post-colonial era. But what followers of Joseph Schumpeter, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman have overlooked are the perils of privatization in under-developed markets, where you have a tiny, oligarchic private sector, which lacks capital, expertise, and -- above all -- appreciation for collective interest, but has unshakable grip on the the political economy.

 

Moreover, as I argue in my forthcoming book How Capitalism Failed the Arab World, the key problem with the privatization process in the developing world is its inherent vulnerability to regulatory capture -- the process by which major businesses and special interests co-opt a weak, post-transition state in order to control profitable, strategic enterprises, which were previously held by the government.

 

Similar to most other developing countries, the Philippines engaged in a wide-ranging process of economic liberalization in the 1990s, which saw the massive expansion in the private ownership as well as operation of key economic sectors such as water, infrastructure and electricity. It was hailed as a natural remedy to decades-long crony capitalism under the former Marcos regime. As far as power-generation is concerned, the transition to a market-economy culminated in the passage of Republic Act 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, better known as EPIRA, in 2001.

 

This was landmark legislation, which promised to lower electricity costs, expand the country's capacity for energy production, and enhance the efficiency of its transmission by supplanting the Rate of Return on Base (RORB) system with a Performance-Based Regulation (PBR) regime. In reality, however, the increasingly privatized electricity sector would be dominated by the country's leading business families, which turned electricity production into one of the most profitable businesses in the country -- at the expense of the overall economy and public welfare.

 

Public Outrage

 

Recent months have seen increasing mobilization by the Philippine middle classes against corruption in state institutions. So when they learned that Manila Electric Company (Meralco) was going to introduce an unprecedented electricity rate hike in three trenches beginning in 2014, there was an immediate expression of outrage, prompting the Aquino administration to launch an investigation on the matter.

 

When the Energy Regulatory Commission's (ERC) chief Zenaida Cruz-Ducut, who oversaw the approval of Meralco's request for rate increases, resigned, suspicions of bureaucratic capture intensified. After all, Ducat, a former member of the Philippine Congress, is implicated in the alleged embezzlement of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), and was appointed to the ERC by the previous Arroyo administration, which is also facing charges of corruption and public mismanagement.

 

Soon, progressive legislators such as Walden Bello and Ibarra Gutierrez asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate not only Meralco, but also a whole host of power companies over "possible violations of laws prohibiting cartelization, monopolies and combinations in restraint of trade as defined in competition laws." Specifically, the power producers are being accused of "staging" production shortages, which in turn prompted expensive purchases of emergency supply, to justify a sharp price hike. The Department of Energy (DOE), which has also expressed its suspicions of a possible collusion, is undertaking a separate investigation on the issue.

 

So far, public pressure seems to have partially succeeded: The ERC has been forced to ask Meralco to hold-off any price hike by January 2014. Still, it is far from clear whether there will be any definitive resolution of this particular crisis, namely the revision or abrogation of the EPIRA law, given how a stream of corruption-related investigations has inundated the Aquino administration.

 

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Overall, what is clear is that the Philippines is paying the price for decades of mindless privatization, which has done more to reinforce the oligarchic hold on the Philippine economy rather than unleash the dynamic energies of the private sector. Perhaps what the Philippines needs more than ever is a simultaneous empowerment of its state institutions as well as the new emerging entrepreneurial class, which has been hammered by oligopolistic businesses and lack of an independent, enabling regulatory regime. In short, what the Philippines yearns for is a more "effective" state and more "competitive" market at the same time. With report from the Huffingtonpost - United Kingdom

DOTC awards ₱1.3 Billion 32 year old NAIA 1 rehab to DMCI, gives Dec. 1, 2014 deadline for APEC 2015

Proposed NAIA renovation design by Kenneth Cobonpue

 

  • 1.299 Billion NAIA 1 rehab contract covers structural refitting and the improvement of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection facilities and architectural works - DMCI
  • 34.492 Million to oversee the project, NAIA 1 rehab construction management and supervision - TCGI Engineers
  • 500 Million of the allotted funds for the NAIA 1 rehab project was earmarked for structural and aesthetic work - "The group of Cobunpue, Layug, and Pineda"
  • 300 Million construction of a rapid exit to ease runway congestion and minimize delays of incoming or outgoing flights.
  • 20 Million for the repair and rehabilitation of airport 72 restrooms
 

To follow projects:

  • The South Metro Manila Skyway Project (Stage 2);
  • LRT Line 1 North Extension Project;
  • The Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Toll Expressway (TPLEX)
  • The Metro Rail Transit Line 7

 

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) chose listed construction heavyweight D.M. Consunji, Inc. on Monday to rehabilitate the 32-year-old Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1, the country's main air travel gateway to the rest of the world.

 

DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said DMCI must complete the project by December 1, 2014—just before the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) senior officials' and high-level meetings, which the Philippines will host.

 

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"We will try our best to complete it, we are really behind but that is our target. This is long overdue and hopefully it will be completed as scheduled," Abaya said.

 

NAIA 1 has so far had 13,848 arriving flights (January to September) and welcomed 3.069 million people (January – September), while it sent off 13,843 flights and 3.325 million departing passengers.

 

The terminal was originally designed to handle only 4.5 million people in a year, but the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said on its website that "improvements" made over the years "increased its capacity to 6 million passengers yearly."

 

The MIAA also said, "International passenger traffic in 2012 increased by 3.5% compared to 2011, from 7,831,099 to 8,105,782 and international flights likewise increased by 3.14% from 37,964 to 39,157."

 

Terminal 1 has 16 gates, 84 check-in counters and 22 immigration stations to service "all international flights coming into Manila, except for those operated by Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines, Philippine Airlines and All Nippon Air."

 

Secretary Abaya made the NAIA 1 contract award to DMCI public during the inauguration of three Philippine National Railway stations, which the same firm undertook and completed.

 

Highly-anticipated and much-scrutinized, the NAIA 1 rehab contract is worth 1.299 billion and covers structural refitting and the improvement of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection facilities and architectural works.

 

The contract does involve the operation and maintenance of the oldest and most congested international airport.

 

The Ninoy Aquino Int'l Airport Terminal 1 in Pasay City has been voted the worst airport in Asia for 2012 and in the world for 2013 by the readers of online travel site 'The Guide to Sleeping in Airports.  Danny Pata


To oversee the project, engineering firm TCGI Engineers was also awarded on Monday the separate contract for the NAIA 1 rehab construction management and supervision - a 34.492 million deal.

 

Abaya said the December 1, 2014 deadline comes from the organizing committee of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

 

The award comes just days after the fatal shooting at NAIA Terminal 3 of four persons, including the mayor of a town in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, of Western Mindanao.

 

Only last October, "The Guide to Sleeping in Airports", a travel website, said NAIA 1 was the worst airport in terms of "comfort, amenities and overall experience."

 

To partly address the issues adverse reviews of the airport raised, the Cobonpue, Layug and Pineda group had volunteered months ago to redesign the airport terminal for free.

 

"The group of Cobunpue, Layug, and Pineda are on board," DOTC Secretary Abaya said.

 

Some 500 million of the allotted funds for the NAIA 1 rehab project was earmarked for structural and aesthetic work.

 

The construction of a rapid exit taxiway could cost 300 million, though it would ease runway congestion and minimize delays of incoming or outgoing flights.

 

For the repair and rehabilitation of 72 restrooms, some 20 million is allocated.

 

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DMCI was also awarded the contracts for building other major infrastructure projects of the administration of President Benigno Aquino III. Among these projects are: - ELR/DVM, GMA News

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