Entrance to Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport
Almost five years since the project was first bidded out, the new Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) was finally inaugurated on Thursday, June 7.
The new passenger terminal, which will begin commercial operations on July 1, will boost the airport’s capacity from 4.5 million passengers to 12.5 million passengers a year, according to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), the state corporation that operates the aviation gateway.
President Rodrigo Duterte was the guest of honor at the inauguratio, calling it "the most beautiful airport in the country today."
"I am extra proud to be a citizen of this country and most proud to be a worker of the government to produce something beautiful for the good of the people," he said.
"Hindi ko akalaing ganito kaganda ito," he added. "Napakaganda ng airport ninyo--inggit rin ako. Matagal akong mayor sa Davao (I never realized how beautiful this would be. your airport is really beautiful. I'm jealous. I've been a mayor of Davao for many years). I'd also like the Davaoeños to enjoy what you have here."
During the program, MCIA General Manager Steve Dicdican said he had always envisioned a world-class terminal for Cebu since he first assumed the position.
He also praised the partnership between the public and private sectors that made the construction of the new terminal possible. The MCIA Terminal 2 project was awarded in April 2014 to a joint venture of two infrastructure firms: Philippine-based Megawide Construction Corp. and India-based GMR Infrastructure Ltd., operator of the Delhi International Airport and the Hyderabad International Airport in India.
“While the GMR-Megawide group should be commended for such an exemplary achievement, it should not be downplayed that it is a partnership between the public and the private sector, which means that the government played a central and a pivotal role in making all this wonder happen,” he said. “This was a project that was conceptualized in the previous administration but much of its challenges had to be addressed by the present administration.”
“Thankfully, under…the Duterte administration, the joint and collaborative efforts of the various government agencies and offices, made the early opening of this terminal possible,” he added.
Meanwhile, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat underscored the importance of the Terminal 2 project in the government’s tourism goals.
“The Philippine tourism industry flies high today,” she said. “It is because the capacity and capability of this beautiful resort-like terminal already made possible the brighter future of tourism. Our national targets of 12 million inbound visitors and 89.2 million domestic travelers in 2022 are now within closer reach as we move to upgrade gateways, develop more destinations, and…international tourism centers.
“We are truly inspired and energized by today's celebration of seeing the fusion of public and private partnership that highly impacts on tourism. We embrace the same principle of collaboration in the tourism industry and it is our commitment to elevate the development of tourism along the path of…sustainability,” she added.
According to Romulo-Puyat, their connectivity convergence partnership with the Department of Transportation has allowed the DOT to prioritize funding for airport infrastructure, while a similar convergence with the Civil Aeronautics Board and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines promotes ease of doing business and competitiveness.
“We will maintain working closely with partners in government and the private sector to improve policies on access, connectivity and security,” she said.
“We will reach out for new destinations and communities and we will pursue rural and fun tourism as major programs mandated by law and prioritized in the Duterte administration's 10-point socioeconomic agenda. Tourism will become an agent and reduce poverty and inequality. We will bring sustainable tourism onboard and take all of you to fly with us,” she added.
Dicdican promised a one-of-a-kind airport experience for those traveling through the so-called new “resort terminal.”
“This is a resort terminal—the only one of its kind in the world,” he said. “We wish to impart the warmth and friendliness of Cebuanos to all those who pass here—a huge departure from the stressful environment that you would typically experience in almost all other airports.”
Following are photos from the the inauguration:
Guests waiting for the arrival of President Rodrigo Duterte at the new MCIA Terminal 2
Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport will start operations on July 1, 2018
Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez
Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade (left) and LT Group President Michael Tan (right)
(Right) Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez
President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the crowd during the inauguration of MCIA's Terminal 2
GMR Airports Chairman Srinivas Bommidala
Megawide Corp. President Louie Ferrer
Paul John Caña is the managing editor and Pauline Macaraeg is the data journalist of Entrepreneur Philippines. With reports from Cebu from Roel Landingin, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur Philippines