PHL gov't reiterates the right to operate NAIA-3

January 3, 2011 1:37 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 3 -– Malacañang on Monday said the Washington decision on the disputed Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 does not affect the Philippine government's right to operate the facility.

”We maintain and we continue to possess NAIA 3. It will not affect our right to operate NAIA 3,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said at a press briefing.

Lacierda said that while they have not yet seen the copy of the Washington decision on the issue, he said the decision would not affect the Philippine government’s right to operate the disputed NAIA-3 terminal.

Last year, the government won the arbitration case filed by German airport operator Fraport AG and Piatco (Philippine International Airport Terminals Co., Inc.) — the builders of NAIA-3 — with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Singapore.

”We won already. The Singapore decision has not been reversed,” Lacierda said.

The Singapore decision was “final and executory”, that allowed for the full operation and grant of legal right by the Philippine government to airport terminal concessionaires.

Due to clash between parties, NAIA 3 only opened in 2008 after six years of being idle.

Lacierda said the government is expecting to fully operate NAIA Terminal 3 this year after finishing some repair works.

”We’re in the process of repairing some areas found to be detective. We have to ask [DOTC] Secretary Ping De Jesus for the time table on that. Hopefully, [it would be fully-operational] this year,” he said.

In 1997 and 1998, the Philippine government awarded Piatco the right to build and operate NAIA-3 by way of several concession contracts. <P>It finished construction in 2002 but, the following year, the Philippine government said the concession agreements were null and void.

Fraport AG and Piatco filed an arbitration case before the ICC, which the Philippine government eventually won. (PNA)

DCT/jmc

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