The Department of Transportation (DoTr) has completed the evaluation of the bid of the “super consortium” of conglomerates to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the group said.

In a statement, the “super consortium” said that the DoTr sent a letter which declared the proposal of the consortium of seven conglomerates to improve and expand NAIA as “in accordance with the documentary requirements” stated in the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law.

The consortium of conglomerates Aboitiz Infra Capital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., AEDC, Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investment Corp., submitted to the government on Feb. 13 a P350-billion proposal for the rehabilitation of NAIA to turn it into a regional hub, with a concession of 35 years.

“This finding is a major milestone for an unsolicited proposal like ours to progress in the bureaucracy. An incomplete proposal does not move forward,” Jose “Jimbo” Reverente, spokesperson for the consortium, said in a statement.

The DoTr has to grant the group original proponent status (OPS) to the consortium. Afterwards, the National Economic and Development (NEDA) Board will evaluate the project and when approved will subject the proposal to a Swiss challenge.

This first wave of expansion will cost $2 billion or over P100 billion. The proposal aims to increase the capacity of NAIA to 47 million after two years from award, and to 65 million after four years. The government had recently received two proposals for the rehabilitation of NAIA, which accommodated over 39.5 million passengers in 2016, way more than its 30.5-million designed capacity.

The consortium earlier this week called on the government to expedite the approval process given growing air travel demand.

It will be contending with the consortium of Megawide Construction Corp. and GMR Infrastructure Ltd. which submitted a $3-billion proposal to rehabilitate NAIA. — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo