MANILA — A Philippine province has canceled its award of a $10 billion airport deal south of the capital, among the biggest projects involving a Chinese firm under President Rodrigo Duterte who has pursued warmer ties with Beijing since taking office in 2016.
China Communications Construction Co (CCCC) and Philippines company MacroAsia Corp won the auction in 2019 to partner with the Cavite provincial government to upgrade the Sangley airport.
“The notice of selection and award for the Sangley Point International Airport Project issued on 12 February 2020 was cancelled,” MacroAsia told the stock exchange on Wednesday.
Cavite Governor Juanito Victor Remulla told Reuters the consortium’s documentation was “deficient in three or four items”.
“We saw it as a sign they were not fully committed to the project,” Remulla said.
The Cavite government would start new negotiations for a private sector partner to pursue the airport project, he said in a Facebook post.
In December 2019, the CCCC-MacroAsia consortium were the sole bidders for a $10 billion airport just outside the capital, one of two big projects that aim to take pressure off the four terminals of Manila’s notoriously packed international airport.
CCCC was among the Chinese firms blacklisted by the United States in August for their roles in constructing and militarizing artificial South China Sea islands.
Remulla said the blacklisting had nothing to do with the cancellation.
China’s CCCC was not immediately available for comment.
MacroAsia’s shares sank as much as 19% to a three-month low in the first 10 minutes of trade following the cancellation. —Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Karen Lema; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Stephen Coates