PHL Village Hotel issue still blocking Naia-2 expansion


THE Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) are discussing ways to settle the latter’s takeover of a hotel property at the old Nayong Pilipino complex to allow for the expansion of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).

The hotel, now in a crumbling state, was owned by Philippine Village Hotel Inc. (PVHI), which has unpaid obligations to the GSIS. The hotel property, spanning over 36,000 square meters, has been eyed by MIAA since 2014 for the extension of passenger terminal 2. The property was leased by PVHI from the Nayong Pilipino Foundation Inc. (NPFI) in June 1975, which was renewed in 1995.

In a Viber message, GSIS President and General Manager Jose Arulfo “Wick” Veloso told the BusinessMirror, “The PVHI property can be negotiated with the MIAA as we are both looking for the best interest of the country. GSIS supports any plan by the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to build the necessary infrastructure to accomodate the growth in the air transport and tourism sectors.”

NAIA-terminal 2, also known as the Centennial Terminal, will be catering fully to domestic flights of Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Philippines Air Asia before yearend. Air Asia has announced the move to Naia-2 on July, while PAL is still negotiating certain terms of the transfer with respect to charges, with MIAA. Cebu Pacific Airways’ domestic flights will remain at Naia-3, and Naia-4.

MIAA general manager Cesar Chiong explained, “Terminal 2 is not [large] enough to handle all domestic flights right now, but once we are able to construct the  annex to terminal 2, Cebu Pacific’s domestic flights can be transferred there.”

Naia-2, which is currently occupied solely by PAL for its domestic and international flights, can accommodate up to 9 million passengers a year. The 75,000 square-meter Naia-2 was originally designed for domestic passengers, but was revised to accommodate international flights as well.

Due to issues in valuation, however, GSIS and MIAA have not been able to settle the takeover of the portion, where the hotel and its annex stand. As such, Chiong said there is no target date for completion of the Naia-2 annex: “That’s the site hopefully,  if we are able to settle the issue regarding the Philippine Village Hotel.”

When the Nayong Pilipino cultural park, in which miniature replicas of the Philippines’ famed tourist sports were built, was closed in 2002, some 9 hectares of  NPFI’s property was transferred to the MIAA. Later, in 2012, about 22 hectares also owned by NPFI was turned over to MIAA for use in its Naia expansion plan.

According to a brief, PVHI still has some P270 million in remaining obligations to GSIS, but the state pension fund has been unable to find bank balances of the hotel firm that it can garnish, despite a court’s issuance of a writ of execution in January 2018. Prior to this, the Supreme Court decided in January 2009, to evict PVHI for its inability to pay P26 million in back rentals to the NPFI.

Image credits: Google Earth