By Denise A. Valdez
THE MANILA International Airport Authority (MIAA) has received a recommendation from the Department of Transportation (DoTr) to accept the unsolicited proposal of the consortium of seven conglomerates to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
“Natanggap ho namin ang letter from DoTr giving us notice to adopt the proposal. Yan po ay dadaan sa Board. Ang Board ay magcoconvene sa Huwebes at yan ay tatalakayin namin sa Board (We have received a letter from the DoTr to adopt the proposal (of the NAIA consortium). That will have to go through the (MIAA) Board. The Board will convene on Thursday to discuss the letter),” MIAA General Manager Ed V. Monreal said in a briefing in Clark on Tuesday.
Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said in the same briefing they forwarded the decision drafted by the DoTr Planning Division to MIAA as the primary agency in charge of NAIA.
“Binigay namin sa MIAA yung recommendation to give an original proponent status on the project. Final na ba yun? Hindi po. Kasi kailangan aprubahan ng Board of Directors ng MIAA (We gave to MIAA the recommendation to give the original proponent status on the project. Is it final? No. Because the MIAA Board of Directors still has to approve it),” he said.
Mr. Monreal said if the board approves the proposal, it will again be forwarded to the DoTr which will then refer it to the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee.
The unsolicited proposal of the consortium is to rehabilitate the congested Manila gateway within a 15-year period for the cost of P105 billion to P106 billion.
The original version of its proposal was for a 35-year, P350-billion concession that covers the construction of a third runway. DoTr Undersecretary for Aviation Manuel Antonio L. Tamayo told reporters in May it was adjusted in accordance with government requests.
The NAIA consortium consists of seven of the country’s top conglomerates: Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc.; AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp.; Alliance Global Group, Inc.; Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp.; Filinvest Development Corp.; JG Summit Holdings, Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
Its technical partner for the project is Singapore’s Changi Airports International Private Ltd.
Also vying to be the government’s concessionaire for the NAIA rehabilitation is the tandem of Megawide Construction Corp. and Indian company GMR Infrastructure Ltd., which submitted a $3-billion, 18-year unsolicited proposal after the consortium.
But DoTr Undersecretary for Planning Ruben S. Reinoso, Jr. told reporters the Megawide proposal would have to remain on hold “until the proposal of the consortium is rejected, because that is what the law says.”
If the NAIA consortium is granted the original proponent status (OPS) for the rehabilitation project, its proposal will be subjected to a Swiss challenge, under which third party companies may try to match it. However, it will have the privilege to counter contending proposals as it holds the OPS.
The Manila airport recorded a total of 42 million passengers handled in 2017, which is way more than its capacity of handling only 30.5 million people a year.