While monitoring the Supreme Court hearing on the cybercrime law yesterday, I was drawn to this tiny business story that broke, which would have a strong impact on our tourism, millions of Filipinos flying in and out of the country and on the economy.
Transport Secretary Joseph Abaya announced he will soon sign a US$45 million civil works contract with giant Japanese construction company Takenaka to finish NAIA 3 – you know, the white elephant of a terminal at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport complex that was intended to be THE terminal for all international flights. Instead, the multibillion peso German-designed structure ended up servicing only local and budget flights.
Construction cost ballooned from US$350 million to over US$650 million and the project was marred by charges of payoffs and corruption. Ten years after it could have been fully operational, the terminal is only partly functioning.
The key was always Takenaka.
To understand what happened, I am providing a timeline below this article.