GOVERNMENT READIES $100-M FOR PIATCO TAKEOVER

Manila, August 4, 2003 By IRMA ISIP (MALAYA) - The Cabinet task force on NAIA terminal 3 is preparing for the government takeover of the terminal, readying $100 million to finish the project and operate it, according to Trade Secretary Manuel Roxas II.

Roxas who leads the committee, said the compensation issue raised by stakeholders is being discussed.

"We'll pay just compensation but the terminal is ours, we'll eventually bid it out, but it will be up and running by that time," he said.

Roxas said the task force is just waiting for the definitive ruling by the Supreme Court.

While the government runs the terminal, its earnings will be put in escrow.

The $100-million estimate is based on the established amount set by the Japanese contractor Takenaka Corp. which Roxas said will still be tapped to finish the construction.

"We have taken the information provided us. The court case says all contracts are null and void therefore the only issue is just compensation", he said.

Roxas said the committee has asked the solicitor general and the office of the government corporate counsel to write into formal pleading or documentation for presentation to the court because "we want it Supreme Court-approved."

Roxas, however, reiterated that the Chengs and the German firm Fraport AG, the owners of the Philippine International Terminals Co. which built the terminal, are not included in the mechanism since they are the claimants in the just compensation.

Roxas said the committee continued to meet with various parties including the Chengs and Fraport.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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