By Denise A. Valdez

THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DoTr) is looking to receive before the month ends revised concession terms for unsolicited proposals from private firms to modernize two regional airports.

Transportation Undersecretary for Planning Ruben S. Reinoso, Jr. said in a mobile phone message that the new contract terms for Davao International Airport and Kalibo International Airport are expected within the week. “We need to review if compliant before we endorse to NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority),” he said over the weekend, referring to concession terms to be submitted by the proponents.

Chryss Alfonsus V. Damuy, president and chief executive officer of Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp., confirmed in a text message that the company plans to submit the revised proposed terms “within the month.”

Chelsea was awarded by the DoTr original proponent status (OPS) last year for its P49-billion proposal to operate, maintain and develop the Davao International Airport over a 30-year period.

As for the Kalibo International Airport, Mega7 Construction Corp. has a P12-billion bid to operate, maintain and develop the gateway, also for a 30-year period.

Mr. Reinoso had said the proposals had been submitted to NEDA but were returned to the DoTr after Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade sought for all airport proposals to be patterned after the concession terms for Clark International Airport. In June, Mr. Tugade said requiring airport proponents to submit contract terms that are aligned with those of the Clark contract will reduce time spent negotiating, as the Clark contract had already been approved by the NEDA Board. An unsolicited proposal needs NEDA approval before being subjected to a Swiss challenge, whereby other parties can try to match it.

The consortium of seven major companies for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. for the Bohol-Panglao International Airport submitted their revised concession terms to the DoTr last month. Both proposals had already been turned over to the NEDA for further evaluation.

So far, the Duterte administration has awarded one airport project to a private sector proponent: San Miguel Holdings Corp. for its P734-billion Bulacan International Airport proposal, which was awarded earlier this month. The NEDA Board approved San Miguel’s proposal last year.