Airport or ecology? Is the choice binary?

By JoeAm

The Department of Transportation has accepted San Miguel Corporation’s bid to build a new Manila Airport about 50 kilometers north of Manila (about half the distance to Clark). With four runways and eight terminals, decent proximity to Manila, and funded privately, the proposed airport is a superb long-term solution to Manila’s airport problem.

But environmentalists are up in arms. The project will take out a huge swath of mangrove forest that supports the ecology of Manila Bay. They claim the project will destroy the Bay ecosystem.

You can read the linked articles for the details.

Other airport solutions are infested with problems:

  • NAIA is too small and congested to expand.
  • Clark is too far away.
  • Cavite has poor access.

The proposed Bulacan Airport solves all of these problems. It will promote economic vitality for Manila far into the future.

But the ecology, the ecology . . .

I’m reminded that one of the most basic argumentative fallacies is to posture arguments as binary choices. Either-or choices. But in most cases, there are more than two. Binary makes it simple and it is a powerful argument to posture the choices head to head and then throw one out.

Me? If you want to posture it that way, I’d say throw out the idea of Manila Bay as a primary fishery. It is an urban bay. It’s a polluted mess. Landfills have been common in the past and are proposed for the future. How many fish are pulled from the Bay? How does it compare to the amount of fish pulled, say, from the West Philippine Sea where China is busy fishing with permission from the Duterte government.

If future fish supplies are not a problem, build the airport.

If future fish supplies are a problem, get China out of the West Philippine Sea.

AND seek remedial mangrove plantings to replace what the airport takes out.

The binary choice is fallacious. It presumes there are no ways around the ecology problem. Clearly, there are no easy ways around the airport problem.

Most of us probably don’t know that the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has recently produced a “Manila Bay Sustainable Development Plan”. Here is a link to the 234 page pdf file “Final Master Plan”.

The report places priority on clean-up of the waters which are so polluted that the Bay is no longer a usable fishery resource. It envisions the Bay as a place for recreation and preservation of natural resources. Page 11 reports on fish stock depletion. Page 25 outlines ideas for sustaining fisheries. Annex 6 provides details, including the following chart:

 

One of the other goals for the Plan is to remove informal settlements that intrude along the coastline and contribute to the horrendous pollution problem.

Decongesting Metro-Manila is also a goal. Page 28 addresses this. Capacity building is addressed on Page 29. Annex 8 provides the details, and an action plan. The airport helps achieve these goals.

Each of these steps is parsed in mind-numbing detail in the Annex section of the report. If words were action, Manila would once again be the pearl of the Orient. I think the report is too heavy on words.

Action would be to recognize the airport is a huge step forward on several of the programs. Sustainable tourism. New growth centers (the airport and areas north). New integrated mass transit. Manila would be back on modern global maps.

My conclusions:

  1. Build the airport.
  2. Get China out of the West Philippine Sea.
  3. Insert the airport into the Sustainable Development Plan as a specific goal.
  4. Continue with steps to rehabilitate destroyed natural resources in Manila Bay.

 

Comments
148 Responses to “Airport or ecology? Is the choice binary?”
  1. Joe,

    I once talked to a dude who works for a big city urban planning dept. and was surprised to hear that these environmentalist uproars are essentially shake-downs.

    For example, Wal-mart wants to build a store, environmentalist group suddenly appears organizes local protest, for this or that, but usually they’ll latch on to a species that needs protecting, like some endangered bird, or rat, or plant or something or other.

    They’ll slow down drastically whatever is planned, but knowing full well it’ll be resolved. The more they can slow down a project, the more they’ll fleece the city and/or developers— since they’ll pay ’em off eventually.

    If you notice, a Wal-mart, or in your case there an airport will usually get built, but try to track which “environmentalist” groups are organizing. My buddy says developers will usually already know them personally by name, and essentially these “protests”,

    is their negotiation ritual. Same here as there, I’m sure. 😉

  2. ed asegurado says:

    Makes a lot of sense, as usual…kudos JoeAm!

    On Mon, Aug 5, 2019, 8:02 AM The Society of Honor: the Philippines wrote:

    > The Society of Honor posted: ” By JoeAm The Department of Transportation > has accepted San Miguel Corporation’s bid to build a new Manila Airport > about 50 kilometers north of Manila (about half the distance to Clark). > With four runways and eight terminals, decent proximity to Manila,” >

  3. karlgarcia says:

    SMC sometimes cannot fully implement its proposals, for instance its Bulkwater project.

    “However, as many water districts have yet to upgrade and prepare their facilities to receive water from the bulk water facility, only about 60 million liters per day are being utilized at present.”

    Read more: https://business.inquirer.net/266721/smc-offers-its-unused-angat-dam-water-quota-to-ease-manila-shortage#ixzz5vgSXpSuH
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

    But they do have studies for flood control, but of course implementation is the problem.

    https://business.inquirer.net/256253/smc-readies-master-plan-solve-bulacan-flood-woes

  4. karlgarcia says:

    About Cavite.
    Ferries are risky during stormy weather.
    The right of way issues make the Cavitex extension to Sangley be so near yet so far.

    https://www.bworldonline.com/mptc-may-consider-cavitex-extension-to-sangley/

  5. Micha says:

    Agree on false binary argument. The real scandal is why award a private company to “finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the airport”.

    This is a jewel project sure to be fleeced by Pacman Cojuangco down to bare skin for profits at the expense of the public.

    Neoliberalism marches on in good old poor Philippines.

    And we wonder why reforming the social order and mitigating the gulf between the poor and the rich is next to impossible.

    • Micha, google map the area, there’s no one there!!!!

    • O.K. I stand corrected, Micha, there’s a little enclave there, but what is that like 250 people??? Send them to Palawan, give ’em land there. Easy peezy.

      • Micha says:

        And you’re also wrong on where I stand on this. I don’t oppose building the damn airport. I oppose awarding that jewel to a private company.

    • SMC was the only company that responded to the bid offering. What do you recommend as alternative to open bidding for a project like this?

      • Micha says:

        Offer the bid to build but not to wholly finance, operate and maintain.

        • Okay. My guess is the project is so huge that would not get the investor past his return threshold, and the project wouldn’t get done. It only makes the grade by factoring in the operations and maintenance. But I see your point.

          • Micha says:

            This grant to SMC is nothing more than a case of crony capitalism. Corrupt, monopolistic, and inefficient.

            If we want to reform Philippine society this is where we should start. Dismantle the oligarchic capture of public domain.

            • My take on it is that the only competence in the Philippines is with its large corporations. They are expanding, providing the financial muscle for big projects, and hopefully building a first class airport. Commissions are the way things work. Frankly, I’d rather government were privatized. It would run better. Yes, the top people would be rich. As they are today. But things would work.

              • Micha says:

                Private business should go back to producing actual goods and services. Capturing a monopoly in the public domain is not one of them.

                Your neoliberal prescription is exactly why we got this Duterte mess in the first place.

              • And your neo-socialist prescription has accomplished what? Where? I mean, I love AOC, but I’m not sure she has factored mass poverty into her calculations as big businesses give up and move to India.

              • Micha says:

                FDR socialism has produced unequalled post war prosperity until 1970’s when the neoliberal maniacs started to dismantle the social gains.

                Why in the world would you factor in mass poverty in your calculations to effect social reform?

              • I look at the historical GDP data and I don’t see that (trading economics web site). Perhaps you’d be kind enough to refer me to your data source. I think after WWII, the global environment fostered US growth and a band of monkeys could have generated prosperity. But socialist/communist countries managed to fail just the same. I dunno. I do cheer AOC. Not Sanders who seems extreme and insincere to me. So you can label me a socialist liberal conservative pragmatist.

              • Micha says:

                What did you see in your GDP data?

              • Huge swings up and down during 60’s through, oh, 70’s, then a tempering of the swings and a gradual decline of gdp growth consistent with the long period of low interest rates. You don’t have a different resource behind your harsh conclusions?

              • Sanders is too sincere like Ralph Nader, Joe. I agree with Micha in spirit here, but knowing how corrupt Filipinos and by extension their gov’t is— I think everyone both Filipinos and non-Filipinos that’ll use the new airport will be better served if this was a private enterprise altogether.

                Micha can argue anti- privatization for other projects like local seaports, bridges , etc. but an international airport, you’d probably wanna get a Japanese or German company to make it for ya. IMHO. It shouldn’t be local.

              • Micha says:

                @joeam
                Post war US economy with FDR designed social programs remain unequal in relative overall egalitarian prosperity with a robust middle class in the context of Cold War 1.0 notwithstanding the black segregation issue.

                From the late 70’s onwards, the neoliberal bandwagon rode to destroy the social contract, nurtured a culture of hyperindividualism, dismembered the labor movement, outsourced manufacturing jobs overseas and the parasitic 1% sucked the wealth from the peasants culminating today in never before seen levels of hyper inequality.

                You cannot evaluate this socio-economic zeitgeist in the 50’s and 60’s from the prism of GDP data alone because you need to factor in the important metric of population growth. As your population increases there is also a provisional increase in your productivity but that doesn’t give you an accurate picture of where all that wealth gets deposited.

              • Yes, I agree America’s social condition is wracked with inequality and dysfunction.

              • Micha, I think your American history’s off here, you gotta factor in that the US had its golden age precisely because we wiped out the competition— that’s Germany & Japan.

                the Cold war was a boon for the military-industrial complex, Southern California being the biggest beneficiary of that arrangement, add too the space race industry.

                FDR kicked ass no doubt, but once the hand-outs trickle off, the whole bottom up economy dries up, no??? trickle down economics is also no bueno for the simple fact that the rich hide theirs, ie. tax evasion and off-shore accounts. Economics i’ll defer to you respectfully,

                but please factor in the no competition aspect of the post-WWII era, Micha.

              • Micha says:

                @lcplx
                No, the social programs came under assault as soon as the Chicago boys were unleashed and the Powell memo were rolled out

              • They came into the picture because of this , no???

                And from the looks of it, they reversed the Stagflation , no???

          • Sup says:

            I think after the FRAPORT fiasco foreign companies think not twice but 30 times before entering in such a deal again building airports in the Philippines.
            https://philippineairspace.blogspot.com/2011/01/fraport-wins-naia-3-appeal.html
            Philippines don’t even honor international laws, court..Like what happened with the compensation for Marcos victims, This government also wanted that in ”their pockets”

            • Right, that was a disaster.

              • https://icsid.worldbank.org/en/Pages/about/default.aspx

                I had no idea there was such an arm of the WB, thanks sup! I have a new fold in my brain. 😉

                “ICSID is the world’s leading institution devoted to international investment dispute settlement. It has extensive experience in this field, having administered the majority of all international investment cases. States have agreed on ICSID as a forum for investor-State dispute settlement in most international investment treaties and in numerous investment laws and contracts.

                ICSID was established in 1966 by the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals ofICSID Primer Image. 300 x 445.jpg Other States (the ICSID Convention). The ICSID Convention is a multilateral treaty formulated by the Executive Directors of the World Bank to further the Bank’s objective of promoting international investment. ICSID is an independent, depoliticized and effective dispute-settlement institution. Its availability to investors and States helps to promote international investment by providing confidence in the dispute resolution process. It is also available for state-state disputes under investment treaties and free trade agreements, and as an administrative registry.”

            • Micha says:

              Geez, how hard is it to build an airport? Why bother contracting the services of foreign companies when Filipino firms could just as well do the job?

              • I gotta feeling Filipino firms will skimp on a lot of stuff, making the whole endeavor a house of cards, Micha.

                But I am with you re privatization of water, I can’t imagine the California aqueduct, L.A. aqueduct, Colorado aqueduct, etc. being in private corporation hands.

                I do agree that different companies should all get a piece of the action for the airport. But I think the head company should be above the everyday bs of the Philippines, all that under the table, over the table plus the table norm… thus, better quality control

              • Micha says:

                @lcplx

                SMC had been building international airports in several provinces including the one in Caticlan that services tourists to Boracay so the fundamental capability is there. Of course they will have to outsource the communications and radar equipment for the control tower but other than that it’s pretty much pouring cement on the runway and designing the terminal building.

              • We all also have to recognize that the experts in building airports in the middle of the water right now is China, albeit using Filipino sand/soil.

                Why not have them build this airport for ya??? they’ll build it over night, LOL!

      • juan gadon lee says:

        i hope the developer will think where will the water go when the airport system and anchillary businesses are build in the area. does anybody know if this location site is a catch basin for bulacan, pampanga, nueva ecija and tarlac. the location site seems to be fishponds area because it is a catch basin. pag tinambakan ang lugar, lalong lulubog ang mga karatig pook katulad ng meycauayan, marilao, bulacan, obando, valenzuela, bocaue, at mga iba pa kasi saan pupunta ang tubig ulan kundi sa mas mababang lugar. water seeks its own level. sana the road systems ay on stilts like the nlex viaduct. 3 flr parking areas be built on stilts too. even medium rise places of business be built on stilts to avoid tambak so rainwater from the highlands will still have a catch basin…minimizing effect of baha in the surrounding population areas. better invest on good stilt foundation than magtipid on the cost with using tambak. what one can tipid on pedro, it will be paolo who will pay in the long run. i am for the airport but it must be designed in a manner that it will have less drastic impact on the existing surrounding areas of population. baha baha at baha pa more. mahirap kalabanin ang tubig and nature.

        • Micha says:

          Projected sea level rise could be as much as 3 meters in a decade or so – and that’s a conservative estimate given the apparent accelerating rate of land based glacier melting in both the Arctic and the Antarctic, not to mention the permafrost melting in Siberia and Russia which releases huge amount of methane. Building an airport in a swampy area by the bay is idiotic in light of these environmental realities..

          • chemrock says:

            Micha
            Typical Filipino fashion. Someone’s gotta outdo building a nuclear plant on a fault line.

            • Pablo says:

              So, nice idea to plan an airport at the proposed location. They can convert it to a tourist spot for beginning divers.
              Really silly. Namria has the data, but why would anybody look at it?
              This is completely in line with the Country Philosophy: Be Happy Today, Don’t worry about tomorrow.
              Tomorrow, the cickbacks are already on the bank of the politicians, so why would they care? And when half Manila is submerged, nobody will be worried about a wet runway.

              • kasambahay says:

                maybe I am wrong, ang narinig ko po ay ang airport sa hongkong was built on swamp and land was reclaimed. hongkong airport abut the sea: overshoot the runway and airplanes end up at sea. and yet, hongkong has one of the busiest airports in the world, rated better than others too.

                I think, we should not be all like nostradamus, the prophet of doom and gloom died of loneliness yata, lol! we need a better airport and one can be built to precision.

                as for airports being submerged and made inaccessible, happens often po in bad weather. airports are closed and flghts are delayed po. also same kung may volcanic eruptions nearby.

        • karlgarcia says:

          If their answer is a spillway, why haven’t they built one in Parañaque after all these years?Ramon Ang offered, but dropped it afterwards.

          Re:Nimby or never in my backyard or simply NIMY(never in my years on earth)
          The counter to that is implementation, not just feasibility studies.

          • kasambahay says:

            agree, implementation is paramount po as is strict adherence to building code and regulations. shortcuts and cutting corners need not apply. we want an airport that will last posterities and not a fly by night airport good only for a few years usage.

    • chemrock says:

      Micha — you do mean Raymond Angs and Denny Uys…. possible Go’s relatives, don’t forget Calida, and Agguire.

  6. Ancient Mariner says:

    Sadly, as is likely, if the process of construction involves dredging and reclamation then, unless prohibitively expensive control measures are put in place, the construction process itself is likely to cause environmental damage well beyond the construction site.

    • kasambahay says:

      that cannot be helped po, there is always environmental damage done lalo na sa construction stage where landscape is changed dramatically. there will be hordes of workers coming and going at all times of the day and night, as well as presence of heavy machineries dotting both ground and skyline, more dust and noise pollution too. and there will be entrepreneurial attempts with karenderias along the way to cater for hungry workers.

      my concern po is after construction, whether there is attempt to make amends and make the environment eco-friendly again; livable and safe for all, and whether the displaced fisherfolk got their just compensations and livelihood programs.

  7. Micha says:

    Look what they did to MWSS. Their rationale for privatizing it was to have better and efficient service. And yet when dry season came, the two oligarch families who parceled out the monopoly couldn’t magically squeeze more water from Angat dam and you still have lousy intermittent service.

    • I think the culprit is global warming, but for sure greed is in there somewhere.

      • Micha says:

        Privatizing a monopoly is a neoliberal creed. If we refuse to challenge this exploitative predatory ideology, we can kiss goodbye any hope for a better Philippines.

        Getting rid of our current criminal cowardly President alone without confronting this neoliberal dark force is not going to fix our socio-economic malaise’.

        Come to think of it, Rodrigo was catapulted into power precisely because those who came before him post EDSA succumbed to the bait and allure of neoliberalism.

  8. Paul Holme says:

    If NEDA’s Manila Bay Sustainable Development Plan aims to reintroduce marine life into the Bay, and if the huge mangrove forest that once served that now dead ecosytem is essential to its rejuvenation, then its destruction to make way for an airport spells the death of the NEDA plan.
    What is natural is what is untouched by Man. Replanting those mangroves elsewhere, if even possible, would require the artificial displacement of whatever nature was already there (probably other mangroves). The glamor, or vaunted utility, of development masks the environmental destruction that it inevitably entails. We need to be aware, with each new development project, that we are sucking our lifeblood blood to quench our thirst.

    • So poverty subsists, Filipinos remain resilient, air travel is a nightmare, but we can get fish back into a dead bay? I think the airport is the least of the problems. Somewhere there is balance. Moving settlers out and planting new mangroves, building sewerage treatment plants, properly piping neighborhoods, getting plastic out. I’m confident there are ways to have both a modern airport and healthy bay.

      • Micha says:

        “So poverty subsists…”

        Amazing how building an airport can be packaged as poverty alleviating measure.

        Did the planners also factored in the sea level rise within 10 years before considering that project by the bay?

        The Clark airfield still seems to be the most viable alternative.

        • Pablo says:

          Looking at the Namria maps depicting the sealevel in 50 years, you can use the airport buildings as artificial reef

        • It was a rather whacky remark, I agree. NAIA is impossible to fix. Manila is a mess, traffic-wise. If there were reliable rapid transit, Clark would probably work, but I think air flight to Manila would split into two airports to serve the growing south regions. A bit awkward. I like the idea of one major airport better. But your vote for Clark is duly noted.

          • Istanbul had two airports, one on the Asian side and one on the European side.

            There is a new mega-airport now but I am not so up to date on that matter.

            One reason for the two airports is that going from one side of Istanbul to the other takes at least one hour. The two bridges are highly efficient with electronic tollgates and all, but still.

            The Marmaray train tunnel under the Bosporus may have helped in the meantime, don’t know.

            Lots of big cities have many airports. London has Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted. Paris has Charles-de-Gaulle and Orly. Madrid has Barajas, Cuatro Vientos and Torrejon.

            And the differentiation international/domestic is practically irrelevant in Europe. Though France has replaced a lot of local flights with speed trains (its network is better than that of Germany, its trains faster, but its countryside allows them to go full speed longer) and Germany is also trying to. In Germany smaller airports often have a profitability issue, unless they manage to become places where low-cost carriers start and land. Easyjet budget flights full of drunken Brits are a stereotype, but partly true, just like Ryanair.

            • Pablo says:

              2 airports equals a disaster. Ever tried Moscow? Landing in Sherrmetyevo and then an onward connection in Domededovo? When the traffic is bad (basically every normal day), you run a real risk to miss your flight even with 5 hours in between flights. Or even Manila where a transfer between terminals can be troublesome. How much more when they are 50 km apart? What do you think tourists will do??? When they only removed the direct connections to Europe, tourism dropped already significantly. No…., if you decide on a new airport, you better plan to move all operations to THAT airport and use the old airport as a carte-blanche for a proper development, something like what happened in Iloilo. Then, the value of a redeveloped NAIA area can compensate for the cost of the new airport.

              • That kind of transfer can be expected to fail.

                Munich did it right then, moved the old airport in one night, closed it, used it for techno parties in the mid-90s, then built new trade fair grounds and a new satellite town with subway connection around it and a mall to service it. Keep the old tower as a remembrance.

                Built a model housing project on the site of the old trade fair.

              • Makati was once Nielsen field.

                Ayala and Buendia avenues were the runways.

  9. sonny says:

    True. Ecosystems are Nature’s business. Do we have the expertise of at least simulating the appropriate man-made ecosystem for this particular airport plan?

    • sonny says:

      (this was intended for Paul Holme’s thread starter)

      • sonny says:

        https://sites.google.com/site/ecosimgroup/research/ecosystem-simulation

        Ecological modeling is a still growing field, at the crossroad between theoretical ecology, mathematics and computer science. Ecosystem models aim to characterize the major dynamics of ecosystems, in order to synthesize the understanding of such systems, and to allow predictions of their behavior. Because natural ecosystems are very complex (in terms of number of species and of ecological interactions) ecosystem models typically simplify the systems they are representing to a limited number of components. This simplification allows for the development of computer-aided ecosystem simulations that are tractable. One of the main interests of such ecosystem simulations is that they offer a global view of the evolution of the system, which is difficult to observe in nature. However, the scope of ecosystem simulations has always been limited by the computational possibilities of their time. Today, it is possible to run simulations that are more complex than what has ever been done before.

      • sonny says:

        (Joe, pls edit. Much obliged.)

      • sonny,

        I don’t know about computer sims for ecology, but Monterey Bay and its eventual protection is a good example,

        as far as back even before the Spaniards , when it was just the Russians and English fur trappers decimating the otters and seals up and down California, as soon as people started leaving ’em alone, stopped hunting them and screwing up their environment, they

        came back. So as simple as leaving them alone, not polluting their homes, is already enough. Nature’s resilient like that, but in the 3rd world, peoples gotta eat, they gotta poop and pee in the sea or anywhere they can.

        So I’m with Joe this ecology protection is basically pissing in the wind, might as well cut your losses, just build the darn airport. Save the ecological fight where you have a winning chance.

        • sonny says:

          Just dunno, LC. The images of the clean-up of the Chicago River, the industrial blight along the cities along the shorelines of the Great Lakes and the combo of industrial and human refuse clogging the Pasig, Laguna de Bay, Manila Bay and esteros of MetroManila are quite strong and suggest that there is a point of no return when even Nature might bounce human environmental profligacy to where our presence is not welcome. Monterey and the Pacific Ocean interface might be the tipping point to take note of.

          • You’d have to convince a whole lot of people to stop pooping, peeing, trashing their rivers and waters, sonny.

            This mayor Isko fella seems on the right track, I wonder what he’s doing that his predecessors weren’t. Stop being corrupt and do the job. But he’s got something else a sort of magic maybe, people listen to him, and without threatening to kill no less— so he’s the best anti-DU30 right now.

            I hope Joe does a blog on him, or Wil does an interview.

  10. karlgarcia says:

    😊

  11. Pablo says:

    The statement that “Clark is too far away.” is just put there without any backup argument.
    Logically, Clark is max 50 km further than the proposed airport, that means 15 additional minutes with a 200kmh train. From 25 minutes by train to 40 minutes by train. Would that really be a decisive point disabling the Clark option? Really? 15 minutes??? Show me the argumentation.

    That raises the question: Why has Clark been dismissed so easily without a cost-benefit analysis?.
    Obviously the Clark option cannot be so profitable for San Miguel Corp, so it has been sidelined without proper analysis.

    Therefore, discussing the new airport option is in my opinion playing in the hands of the people who would like to build and run the new airport and make a profit at the costs of the air travelers and the Filipino population (because I assume that all the additional infrastructure like roads etc will be carried by the Filipino taxpayers).

    In my mind, it is very simple: IF there already infrastructure available (Clark), then NOT using it to the max is a waste of resources (whoever pays) and although Philippines is competing for Champion in wasting money, it is not something we should even entertain.

    • isn’t Mt. Pinatubo still active,

    • Strong point. I’d have to research to formulate a rebuttal. I don’t know enough about Clark, or why no one representing Clark has offered objection.

      • sonny says:

        Joe, Sec Tugade and Sen Gordon both had significant oversights on Clark & Subic bases. They should have a lot of input on the president’s communication channels. Tho I got the feeling it is neither here nor there?

        • sonny says:

          PS. The Gloria Arroyo “camp” also had plenty of involvement, viz. Clark was once Macapagal Airport. Throw in also that the Aquino (Concepcion, Tarlac) and Cojuangco (Paniqui, Tarlac) estates are just outside Clark. I dunno how “viable” the NPA presence is in surrounding Pampanga and Nueva Ecija as simmering security threats to the access of a Clark International Airport.

    • Make that 30 minutes more, it shouldn’t even matter that much. Because even a fast train has starting and stopping times, and unless you are running all of the tracks elevated and/or with walls around it, no chance of constantly running at 200 km/h. This I have seen in Germany with the high-speed trains that have a maximum operating speed of 300 km/h (actually 350 km/h but for safety they are kept below that) – when passing through urban areas even with walls they can’t go that fast as they get too loud for neighbors, passing through unwalled, in normal areas they can’t go faster than the tracks take them (high-speed tracks are mounted on a special kind of concrete, not on stones like normal tracks)

      And how about guarding high-speed tracks in the Philippine environment. Just a little bit of metal (or garbage) on the tracks can throw off a train at maximum speed.

      But still with ideas like checking in for the train ride and the flight when you board the train (practiced in Germany on some routes) a good and reliable train connection is valuable.

  12. madlanglupa says:

    Just noticed the airport is way much on mangrove swamps, and speaking of mangrove swamps an entire mangrove island in Cavite had been deforested and flattened to be made into yet another casino or condo complex — no thanks again to the reptilian leadership of Cavite.

  13. Pablo says:

    Building an airport is very, very complicated. Look at the mess in terminal-3 or the Berlin airport. Local companies can do contracts and that should be maximized, but management of the overall project???? Show me one company with sufficient experience??

    • One of the reasons for the Berlin mess is that two German states are co-responsible: Berlin and Brandenburg. By the time the mess was there, the best either refused or failed. Michael Kerkloh, manager of Munich airport (global No. 6, holds its own with modern Asian airports) refused an offer to step in and fix the mess. Hartmut Mehdorn, former populist Chancellor Schröder’s man for tough jobs, went in, did fix a lot but stopped after a while.

      Project management courses should have failed projects as case studies for trainees to learn from, alongside great successes. Just finding out the reasons for success and failure are interesting. Munich airport, built in 1992, extended with a second terminal (PPP with Lufthansa) in 2003, was an example of how the City of Munich (under social democratic leaders) and the State of Bavaria (under conservative leaders) got their act together. The logistics team that did the practically overnight move from the old Riem airport to the new Erding airport in 1992 also got the job to move the government from Bonn to Berlin in 1998.

  14. karlgarcia says:

    The tycoons will still rely on foreign companies because no Filipino company has a track record to speak of. Our procurement law is so strict.
    How can we ever have a track record if we are not allowed participation.

  15. karlgarcia says:

    As long as there are Chinese, they will proceed with the multi airport plan. Isn’t that an open invite for airplane collissions?

    • Basis? The SMC deal has Chinese involvement? Thanks.

      • Sup says:

        Of course, if you drink enough you start talking like a Chinese… 🙂

      • karlgarcia says:

        I only have basis for the multi airport plan of DOTR.

        https://business.inquirer.net/256116/govt-proceed-multi-airport-plan
        As for SMCs Chinese connection that is just going with the flow(pure speculation)

        • Multi-airport seems messy to me. International should be one airport I think. Airlines need connectivity. Security must be world class. Domestic can schedule wherever demand justifies, I suppose. I wonder what the airlines have to say about it.

          • karlgarcia says:

            It seems messy. We will hear from the airlines soon enough.

            • Over here, big airports have to have secondary airports for just-in case scenarios.

              So for LAX Los Angeles airport, they also run another airport in Ontario, smaller one in Van Nuys (I think this one’s shared with Burbank and LAX), then one in the desert in Palmdale.

              Redundancy is good, I know Ontario is now with the city of Ontario (i think) but before that, it was fully functional airport, Van Nuys is for smaller planes, and no commercial flights technically out of Palmdale but LAX leases that to NASA and the Air Force , and others.

              Thus , a stand-by airport can still be a money generating airport, especially with FEDEX, UPS and Amazon always needing airports. Over here, there’s way more than enough airports.

          • There always is one airport in charge over the others when you have airports very close.

            Innsbruck airport (Austria) has to wait for Munich (Bavaria) to clear the air space when planes start and land.

            It is basically between mountains, the ones separating Bavaria from the Inn valley, and the Inn valley from the old road to Italy.

            Planes just pass OVER that airspace so for practical reasons, Munich monitors it.

            But is is not always that simple..

            In 2002, a Russian plane full of schoolchildren and a DHL plane collided in the area controlled by Zurich air traffic control due to a wrong command by the controller.

            Seems he had been doing overtime, shifts were running then and his only companion in the tower went on toilet break, so a fatal error in judgement happened that caused this:

            The crash happened into the south of Germany, which quickly took back control over its airspace, rescinding an agreement with the Swiss and make less landings possible in Zürich. Because at that speed and so near, a handover becomes very impractical.

            • But the anger was great. Imagine having parts of planes (and of people, how horrible) in your backyard, which was what happened to parts of northern Lake Constancein 2002.

              The poor air traffic controller who made the mistake stopped working, went into a depression – and suddenly opened his door one day to get shot by the Central Asian Russian politician father of one of the kids who died that night.

              —-

              Another anecdote which shows how fast planes go compared to ground level..

              Someone from Graz, Styria (Schwarzenegger’s original home area) told me how their airport was often closed in the early phase of the Balkan war, when Yugoslav MIGs flew over Slovenia which broke away in a matter of just a few weeks.

              One can see the border in this map. Graz-Maribor is just around 50 km. Neutral Austria could not call the NATO, Austrian jets could not come up fast enough and were no match for MIGs, while the Yugos/Serbs probably had fun showing their former colonizers power. Even weirder were the stories from the border itself. Peaceful life on the Austrian side, snipers just across the river on the Slovenian side so people were wary of stray shots.

            • I wonder how that kind of coordination would get done in the Philippines when each airport is a vested interest of someone unwilling to cooperate.

              • kasambahay says:

                naming and shaming, work with kids and may well work with airports too. shame the less sustainable airport and praise the airport with the most sustainability. and world travel guide books and tourism destinations could well lead the charge. businesses run on good reputation, quality products, good vibes and excellent customer service.

                likewise, bad airports are trashed by bad travel reviews, and good airports are given ‘michelin’ stars.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Sorry for
            not checking it further, thanks to lcx’s fact checking, I posted the wrong SMC.
            My bad.
            But in HK, there is San Miguel beer that I remember.

        • karl, that’s not SMC San Miguel, it’s Japanese…

          Q. When was SMC Corporation established?

          A. Established on April 27, 1959, under the name of “Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Co., Ltd., purposing for manufacture and sales of sintering metal filters by power metallurgy.

          Q. What is the origin of the corporate name, “SMC”?

          A. SMC Corporation started under the name of “Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Co., Ltd. in 1959, afterwards, for advance to overseas, “SMC” taking initials from “Sintered Metal” and “Company,” has been used as our brand name.On April 1, 1986, our corporate name was changed to “SMC Corporation” for preparing to be listed in the Tokyo Stock Exchange and aiming for further global operational presence.

          Q. What is the description of business of SMC?

          A. Manufacturing and providing pneumatic control equipment, such as directional control valves, actuators and air line equipment as well as the products for new fields, such as heat exchangers, electric equipment and sensors.

          Q. What is pneumatic control equipment like?

          A. Pneumatic control equipment, powered by air pressure, is used in various industrial operations taking place of people’s hands or feet. It is economic, safe and environmentally friendly. Its use extensively spreads out from primary industry to tertiary industry, and it is essential for automation and laborsaving in industry.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Thanks for fact checking. My bad.

          • karlgarcia says:

            ok I should have just posted their wiki page.

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Miguel_Corporation

          • I removed the Vietnam Nam execution photo and accompanying remarks. Neither are appropriate here.

            I’ve also returned you to moderation so I can review postings before they hit the public eye. That kind of posting could get me banned on FB or Twitter. Threatening violence is not acceptable these days. If it was a joke, it is in the category of airport bomb jokes.

            • @LCX, The decision is not open to debate. I will not post your justifications. It is not for you to determine how readers may or may not respond. That’s my job.

              • No problem, Joe.

                That was just my explanation of the joke, to you. that I was not condoning violence, the irony was the joke, not so much the violence.

                As to this SMC airport, I’ve changed my mind 180 degrees , thanks to Micha and others pointing out that other airports can take the slack, plus sea level rise, and the unnecessary-ness of it all really.

                So i think San Francisco bay is the perfect example here, you got San Fran, Oakland and San Jose airports servicing the whole bay area. Depending on where their end destination is and/or price of tickets they’ll book any of the 3 airports in the area—

                now granted public transport connects all 3 airport really well.

                As for airplanes crashing together, never heard of it in the bay area. I’m sure with great traffic control, the tech for keeping airplanes all lined up is pretty good too.

                So with Clark and Manila, that should be enough int’l flights to service north and south Luzon.

                Now for the kicker, joe. and this is important, that no one’s brought up. the bulk of Filipinos that fly into Manila actually wanna go to other parts of the Philippines namely Visayas and Mindanao. So why not just accommodate int’l flights to go directly to where people wanna go (or closest to it) by skipping Manila altogether.

                For instance, there’s a new int’l airport being built in southern Bohol (but so far just local flights per Google), why not put all this money SMC is willing to pay in Bulacan and just use it to expand operations and structures in Bohol??? a better investment no doubt with the bridge to Cebu coming.

                My point, build the airport in the Visayas… then in Mindanao also. Focus elsewhere, and not metro Manila. But the airport in Bohol looks promising, people are just thinking small scale, but Bohol not Bulacan is the answer here, Joe.

    • Air traffic control is something the U.S. military does really well, tell Senator Trillanes for any American-Filipino military exercise, get Filipinos also trained up on air traffic control, the more the merrier when it comes to air traffic controllers, just de-conflict.

      But American Filipino air traffic controllers should be all on the same page, the more cross training and cross pollination in this field the better.


      Weather and Traffic control go hand in hand in small teams, but the lessons learnt from those two specialties, are little mined (not tactically fancy enough), you guys mine that shit. Lots of good stuff they’ve mastered in the past 15 years.

  16. Joe: “One could almost conclude that marriage is a privilege for the wealthy who can afford annulment, but it binds the middle class and poor to imposed misery. Beyond that, it treats Filipinos as children who cannot possibly run their lives by themselves. “ (from the Twitter feed above)

    Illegalize marriage altogether , Joe.

    Over here California, I know a bunch of buddies that are married, their wives are screwing other dudes (granted to get back at my buddies), and spending their money. All because of “It’s CHEAPER to KEEP her”.

    You see in liberal California, if the husband makes 100% (or close) of the earnings, and the wife makes 0% (or close), no matter who’s at fault (adultery, etc.) the husband will have to pay the wife when comes divorce, hence “Cheaper to Keep her”.

    So many married couple end up staying married, miserable but knowing they are less miserable than if they actually divorced.

    Why not just make marriage illegal??? Nip in the bud. Save everyone misery. 😉

  17. Sup says:

    Today :
    https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1151060/bulacan-folk-seek-relocation-as-airport-construction-near
    BULAKAN, Bulacan, Philippines — Fishermen and their families who will be displaced by the construction of a P734-billion international airport here are hopeful they would be given relocation and livelihood.

    Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1151060/bulacan-folk-seek-relocation-as-airport-construction-nears#ixzz5vrXUezc1
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

  18. It may not just be ecology but survival. Jakarta is already proven to be sinking.

    Manila may sink for the same reasons. Parts of Malabon and Navotas are underwater for large parts of the rainy season, I gather. But Filipinos are not forward thinking, so why worry?

    • kasambahay says:

      I heard din po that canal city venice is sinking, polar ice caps are melting and low lying cities are feeling the brunt of super floods and torrential mudslides. it’s a global problem, though richer countries with vast resources maybe able to offset devastating effects of global warming, but which country is rich enough these days!

      as for pinoys like me, we’ll trudge on. we love, we live and we die. tama po kayo, irineo, why worry when we have plenty to be angry about, lol!

      pinas is not only sinking, it’s also being burgled, china is not passing but trespassing and our govt is mired with chopsticks! in the good ol’days, we have ships of wood and men of steel, now we have ships of super steel and men of clay.

  19. juan gadon lee says:

    pls huwag lang sana kalimutan saan pupunta ang tubig ulan pag ginawa ang airport dito sa bahagi ng bulacan. tambak lang ang paraan ng mga builders para mapababa ang cost ng construction. ibig sabihin kukuha uli tayo ng bato at lupa sa mga bundok. that is a lot of soil and rocks to be used…sisira uli tayo ng bundok… na panangga sana sa bagyo. if i may suggest the perimeter of the runway be reclaimed first and then the center portions be filled with garbage/plastics, silts from the nearby rivers ( so we have to also dredge the meycauayan, tullahan, marilao, bucaue rivers, etc that they may accomodate more water volume) in combo with rocks and dirt. all other buildings can be built on stilts, even parking areas, and roads on stilts too. at least we can say this runway was built on garbage…i would say the construction of the runway will take about 5 years (a non-engineer estimate) tada we will have a garbage and silt dumpsite for at least 4 years. just a thought na umutot.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Nothing to lose andveverurhing to gain by providing the fisherfolk a community complete with livelihood and transport.
      If sincere this should be the template for all the conglomerates and consortiums.
      Now let me see the mining companies do thr impossible, sustainable mining.

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