Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr.

Address at Signing Ceremony of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Project Concession Agreement

delivered 18 March 2024, Malacañang Palace, Manila, The Philippines

Audio mp3 of Address       Audio AR-XE mp3 of Address


[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

Thank you very much, Executive Secretary, Chief -- Chief Luke Bersamin.

Please take your seats.

Also with us here is House Speaker, Speaker Martin Romualdez; His Excellency Lee Sang Hwa, the Ambassador of South Korea to the Philippines; Transportation Secretary Jimmy Bautista; other members of the Cabinet here; Senator Grace, who has graced us with her presence today.

San Miguel Corporation President and CEO Ramon Ang, who promises that he will fix this problem once and for all. And if his record has -- is anything to go by, I -- I’m fairly confident that he will manage to do by hook or by crook, ayan naman si [there he is] Ramon, by hook or by crook gagawin niya’t gagawin niya [he has a job to do and he'll get it done.]

The granters and concessioner of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Public-Private Partnership Project; my fellow workers in government; good morning.

For -- For today, we are celebrating a different kind of departure honor. Because after more than 30 years, the comprehensive modernization of Manila International Airport, in partnership with the private sector, finally, is taking off. Bureaucratic inertia; political turbulence; legal wranglings -- these are among the things that conspired to maroon the International Airport rehabilitation on the tarmac of inaction.1

That nation has unfortunately paid a heavy price for that indecision. The reputation of this airport has been shredded, and let us be frank about it, not by bad press, by its actual poor state. The gateway that should have -- that should be the red carpet to our country has become a dirty rug that unfairly defined a visitor’s first impression, which we all know is extremely important for all of those who are tourists, who are travelers, who, for any reason, have come into the Philippines.

I think that all of us have said to one another, "bakit ang ‘yung Hong Kong ang ganda ganda, ‘yung Singapore ang ganda ganda? Tapos uuwi ka ng Pilipinas, napakasakit ng ulo. Kaya’t mabuti na, kailangan na kailangan na natin ayusin ito." ["Why is it that Hong Kong is beautiful? Singapore is beautiful? When you go back to the Philippines, you have a headache. So it is good that we should fix it.]

More -- More damaging than the occasionally unflattering headlines are the inconveniences that many of its passengers undergo daily. It also affects our economy greatly. The postponed improvement of the airport has resulted in delayed and reduced number of flights. So, due to insufficient flights, visitor arrivals have suffered, denying our economy billions in tourism receipts. The truth is, before our guests can swim or shop and sunbathe and surf, they must secure airline seats first.

The main cause of the airport’s woes are no secret. It’s been operating beyond capacity for many years now, almost a decade. And since that is the case, the restoration of this airport should go beyond its physical design and structure. It requires major overhaul, such as the rehabilitation of the passenger [terminals], the airside facilities, the development of commercial assets and utility systems, the provision of inter-modal and inter-terminal transport facilities.

I think that we have all felt the difficulty of all of these different aspects of the airport operation. Siguro naman at some point, all of us naging civilian tayo, na hindi tayo opisyal na mayroong nagaalaga sa atin, naramdaman din natin lahat ‘yan. [Maybe at some point, we've all become civilians, that we're not officially taking care of ourselves, we all feel that way too.]

So, today, we chart the future of the airport. In a nutshell, we are embarking, and we have to admit this on a fairly major catch-up plan. So, let us we roll up our sleeves. Let us be reminded that the bottom line of the Manila International Airport’s resurgence is not what it will bring to the coffers of government but the comfort it will bring to its passengers.

So, I urge the San Miguel Corporation and Company Consortium to fulfill its commitments to this PPP Project. This undertaking is not just about revenues that will be remitted by -- to treasury alone, but resources invested in the airport and in many ways. It is an investment in our future.

The targets are worth repeating to remind us of the hard work that lies ahead. The PPP Project will ramp up annual passenger capacity from 35 million passengers per year to almost double, 62 million passengers a year. 62 million talga ‘yan ah. Talagang malaking pagbabago ‘yan. [That's 62 million dollars. That's a really big change.]

But I've -- we’ve seen it before. We’ve seen it in other airports. Nagagawa naman talaga eh. [It really can work.] And so, that's -- we can take -- we can take lessons from all the other experiences and the best practices of other airports.

Hourly air traffic movements will be -- will be increased from 40 to 42 per hour to 48 movements per hour.

However, traffic abatement should not happen on the tarmac alone, but also on the roads leading to the airport. This time it take -- The time it takes to pick up a passenger at the curb or to find a parking spot should be shorter than the flight itself. And I think the model that we’re always saying, ang halimbawa [an example], to use as an example, ang [the] Singapore Airport. Ang kanilang [Their] measure is laging sinasabi [always saying], the passenger, international, domestic, or otherwise, whiz out of the airport within 20 minutes.

At the same time, it will -- if they cared to stay there for a day, may layover sila ng mahaba, meron ding facilities diyaan [the airport is extensive and well equipped]. And so, this is what we are trying to -- what...the evolution that we are trying to achieve.

So, the fast flow of passengers, arriving and departing, must be guaranteed inside the -- inside a terminal that is clean and comfortable.

For the record, this PPP Project was evaluated within a record-breaking seven weeks, making it the fastest PPP proposal to be approved in history.

But we did not sacrifice scrutiny for speed. It was fast, but it was also fastidiously examined at every step of the way. It was open, transparent, and competitive. In fact, the project was aligned with international best practices structuring and tendering bankable and fair PPP projects. The result is this project in which everybody wins, from the people to the government that will enjoy the financial windfall.

The project will mobilize approximately 88 billion pesos in capital investments within its first six years of operation. This is more than eight times the disbursed capital investments for the Manila International Airport since 2010.

On top of rehabilitating and expanding the capacity of Manila International Airport, the private sector will pay the government approximately 1.052 trillion pesos in the next 15 plus to 10 years. This -- 15 plus 10 years. This is more than 15 times the amount remitted by the Manila International Airport Authority to the national government since 2010.

So, ladies and gentlemen, to conclude, the PPP Project is the fruit of unity, of vision, of purpose. It highlights the great potential of public-private partnerships in accelerating infrastructure development. By bringing in the expertise of the private sector, we are pushing forward infrastructure projects to meet international standards and to provide the public with the state -- with state-of-the-art services.

This PPP Project showcases what can happen when we join hands in solving the nation’s problems. It reminds us that there is no challenge that is too difficult that we cannot surmount, that a Filipino ingenuity and spirit cannot surmount, so long as we remain bound together with a common purpose.

The project proves that the Bagong Pilipinas [New Philippines] that we seek is not an impossible dream. Therefore, let us keep working together. Let’s brave the turbulence that may come, so we may arrive with the -- at the destiny and the destination that we have dreamed for, for our people.


Congratulations to our Secretary of DTI -- of Transport.

Congratulations to the SMC consortium for putting together what was -- I guarantee you -- was a very complicated -- was a very complicated bid process. But we are finally here, and well done, and we look forward to the successes of the future that this project will bring.

Mabuhay at maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. [Live and thank you very much to all of you.]

Magandang umaga po. [Good morning.]

1 Creatively, if somewhat ostentatiously, deployed stream of consistently themed metaphors -- "departure honor," "taking off," "bureaucratic inertia," "political turbulence" "conspired to maroon," "tarmac of inaction."

Original Text and Audio Source: ops.gov.ph/transcripts

Text Note: Tagalog translated generally via Microsoft Translator

Audio Note: AR-XE = American Rhetoric Extreme Enhancement

Page Updated: 3/25/24

U.S. Copyright Status: Text and Audio = Public domain per this notice on the Philippine Government website: "All content is in the public domain unless otherwise stated."
































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