NINOY Aquino International Airport (NAIA) check-in counters. — BW FILE PHOTO

By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter

THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) expects the government’s economic planning agency to complete its review of the solicited proposal for redeveloping the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) by July, and is currently studying whether to grant a longer concession period to allow proponents more time to recover their investment.

In chance remarks, Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Roberto C.O. Lim told BusinessWorld that the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is expediting the review.

Siguro by July matatapos ang review ng NEDA. Minamadali din nila ’yan para magkaroon tayo ng clear direction kung ano ba ’yung proposal at syempre ang private sector kasi naghihintay rin (Maybe NEDA will complete its review by July. NEDA wants it done quickly to give us clear direction on what the proposal should be and also because the private sector is also waiting on it),” Mr. Lim said on Saturday.

He added that the decision to alter the concession period will be up to NEDA. The new concession period will be known when it reports its review findings, he said.

On April 27, the Manila International Airport Consortium, composed of Aboitiz Infracapital, Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global–Infracorp Development, Inc., Filinvest Developments, JG Summit Infrastructure Holdings Corp., and Global Infrastructure Partners, submitted an unsolicited proposal for the rehabilitation of NAIA.

This unsolicited proposal involves P267 billion worth of investment, which includes a P57-billion upfront payment and around P211 billion in development costs over a 25-year concession period.

In June, the DoTr and the Manila International Airport Authority submitted to NEDA a P141-billion solicited proposal which gives the private concessionaire 15 years to operate the airport and recover its investment.

Pag-uusapan ’yan sa NEDA kung i-e-extend nga itong proposed concession period (NEDA is studying the extension of the concession period),” Mr. Lim said.

“’Yung proposal ng DoTr binigay sa NEDA para i-consider nila. Kung okay ba sa kanila ’yung plan at kung dapat ba natin dagdagan or bawasan, under evaluation ngayon ’yan (DoTr’s proposal was submitted to NEDA for its consideration. If the plan is all right and if the concession period needs to be extended or reduced, that is still under evaluation),” he said.

Mr. Lim said the DoTr is open to the idea of extending the concession period if NEDA approves it.

Kung sa palagay ng NEDA na dagdagan, e di dadagdagan natin okay lang sa amin. Kung they want to make it 20, okay lang, if they want to make it 25, okay lang rin samin (If the NEDA thinks that it should be extended, then we will extend it. If they want to make it 20 or 25 years, that’s okay with us too),” he said.