THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) granted original proponent status to Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (AIC) for the operations, maintenance, and future expansion of the New Bohol International Airport in Panglao, the company said on Friday.
“We believe our proposal provides an expedient and comprehensive solution for the immediate and long-term needs of the New Bohol International Airport. We also remain committed and ready to support the government in its initiative to develop and enhance other regional airports throughout the country,” AIC president and chief executive officer Sabin M. Aboitiz said was quoted as saying in a statement.
Located on Panglao island, the new airport is seen as the replacement for the one currently operating in Tagbilaran City.
As an unsolicited proposal, the New Bohol International Airport project will have to go through a Swiss challenge, where other groups may submit counterproposals that AIC has the option to match.
The Bohol airport project was part of the unsolicited proposal submitted by AIC last March for the P148-billion upgrade of four regional airports. This included airports in Iloilo, Bacolod-Silay, and Laguindingan.
However, AIC’s unsolicited proposal was rejected by the DoTr in April, as the government does not support bundled proposals.
“In line with AIC’s commitment to support the Philippine government’s efforts in advancing infrastructure with the country, we look forward to moving ahead with our proposal to provide a long-term solution for the operations, maintenance, and future expansions of the New Bohol Airport,” Mr. Aboitiz said.
The Aboitiz-led company edged out businessman Dennis A. Uy’s Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. which also submitted a proposal for the New Bohol International Airport and the Davao International Airport.
AIC is also part of the “super consortium” was granted original proponent status by the government for its P102-billion proposal to rehabilitate and expand the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Aside from AIC, the NAIA consortium includes 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. Changi Airports International Private Ltd. is the technical partner. — R.J.N.Ignacio