THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DoTr) hopes to submit the proposal of the so-called “super consortium” to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) by next week.
Asked about the DoTr’s timeline for the project, Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade told reporters Tuesday he is giving the department “hanggang [until] next week” to endorse it to NEDA.
Mr. Tugade said last week he wants the private proponent for the NAIA rehabilitation to be awarded the concession for the project within 90 days. To meet this timetable, he said the proposal has to reach NEDA level as soon as next week.
The DoTr is currently evaluating the consortium’s draft agreement for the proposed NAIA rehabilitation project, which the group submitted on April 30. Mr. Tugade noted the department no longer sees any issues with the submitted draft terms.
“Wala naman kaming nakikitang (issue). Ewan ko lang kung pagdating sa NEDA meron sila. Kasi magkaiba ‘yung NEDA at DoTr. Sa amin, walang isusumite na issue [We don’t see any issue. I’m just not sure if NEDA will find any. There may be a different assessment for NEDA and for DoTr. We don’t intend to submit a proposal with outstanding issues],” he said when asked to discuss the consortium’s submitted draft agreement.
The super consortium, formed by seven of the country’s top conglomerates, was given original proponent status by the DoTr in September for its P102-billion proposal to rehabilitate and expand NAIA over a 15-year period. The project aims to increase the capacity of the gateway from the current 30.5 million passengers each year to 47 million in two years and to 65 million in four years.
After receiving original proponent status, the consortium must amend the concession agreement for the project to address any DoTr concerns, and the DoTr will then endorse the deal to NEDA for approval.
If it gains approval from NEDA, the proposal will undergo a Swiss challenge, with other companies invited to make a counter-proposal, which the consortium is entitled to match.
Only after hurdling the Swiss challenge can the consortium be awarded the concession for the project. The award is what Mr. Tugade wants done in 90 days.
Asked to comment, a spokesperson for the consortium, Jose Emmanuel P. Reverente, declined to comment other than to say the group “will comply with (Mr. Tugade’s) timeline.”
The members of the consortium are 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. — Denise A. Valdez