Lapu govt backs terminal expansion

Posted on October 11, 2012

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The 800-hectare Mactan Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City may get much-needed expansion soon, but taxes issues with its host city continue to hound it. (JUNJIE MENDOZA)

The Lapu-Lapu City government lent its support to the passenger terminal expansion of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

But Mayor Paz Radaza is reminded the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) anew to pay even just a portion of the airport’s P1.5 real property taxes it owes the local government unit.

Mayor Radaza said it took them sometime to endorse the airport terminal expansion project to remind the MCIAA of its obligation to the city hosting it.

The Lapu-Lapu City government has been trying to collect real property taxes from the MCIAA which occupies about 800-hectares or about a fifth of the land area of the Mactan Island city.

Radaza said she is supporting any development of the MCIAA, for it also means development of Lapu-Lapu City’s tourism industry.

Radaza lamented that the taxes due from the MCIAA which dates back to the 1990s could have funded  shortfalls in projects for Lapu-Lapu City like classrooms.

“From the very start we support any development project. We delayed the endorsement of the MCIAA terminal thinking, they might pay up their taxes. I cannot understand why they are not paying their tax obligations when they are earning much,” Radaza said in Cebuano.

She added that they will just have to await the decision of the Supreme Court on the tax case of the MCIAA.

The MCIAA terminal expansion may cost about P5.8 billion.

Among those interested to undertake the airport terminal project are the Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. (AEV), which signed a joint venture agreement for the project.

The airport terminal expansion is aimed at attracting more tourists to Cebu, and for the MCIAA to serve as a major hub of tourists coming in to the country.

The new terminal is projected to cater to 3.8 million more passengers going in and out of the MCIA annually. The current capacity of the passenger terminal is 4.8 million per year.

This project is also in the priority list of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Program of the administration of President Benigno Aquino III./Correspondents Fe Marie M. Dumaboc and Norman V. Mendoza

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