The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has been operating way beyond its 30.5 million annual passenger capacity. — REUTERS

THE government is taking a second look at another unsolicited proposal to upgrade the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), after the consortium of top conglomerates backed out of an earlier deal.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Eddie V. Monreal said the government is studying another unsolicited proposal for the NAIA rehabilitation, without naming the proponent.

Dalawa po ang nag-submit n’yan noong nagkaroon tayo ng unsolicited proposal, ’yan po ay pag-aaralan natin at kung sila po ay tatanggapin nila ’yung dati pong na-aprub ng NEDA-ICC (National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee), ay baka po tayo magpatuloy doon sa pangalawa (There were two unsolicited proposals submitted, and we will study it. If they are willing to accept the one that has been approved by NEDA-ICC, then I think we can proceed with the second proponent),” he said at a Laging Handa briefing on Monday.

However, Mr. Monreal said this is not final and guidelines would have to be ironed out.

In 2018, the consortium of Megawide Construction Corp. and India’s GMR Infrastructure Ltd. also submitted an unsolicited proposal for the rehabilitation of the country’s main gateway.

Megawide officials were unavailable for comment.

According to Section 10.6 of the revised implementing rules and regulations of the Build-Operate-Transfer law or Republic Act No. 6957, the “second complete proposal will only be entertained if the first one is rejected.”

“Otherwise, the second proposal will be considered only if there is a failure in the negotiation of the first proposal or during the ‘invitation for comparative proposals.’”

MIAA, as the primary grantor of the rehabilitation project, has terminated any further negotiations with the consortium composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc; AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp.; Alliance Global Group, Inc.; Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp.; Filinvest Development Corp.; and JG Summit Holdings, Inc.

MIAA has also revoked the original proponent status and approvals earlier granted to the consortium.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said last week there are two other proponents interested in the project at the terms the government has indicated.

Mr. Monreal said he was not aware of the two new proponents.

In a statement issued on July 7, the super consortium said the “far-reaching and long-lasting consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on airline travel, airline operations and airport passenger traffic necessitated a review of the assumptions and plans to ensure that the NAIA project will be viable in the new normal.”

The group said it could only proceed with the NAIA project under the options it had proposed.

In September 2018, the NAIA consortium obtained the original proponent status from the Department of Transportation to rehabilitate, upgrade, expand, operate and maintain the country’s main gateway for 15 years.

The NAIA, which has four terminals, has been operating beyond its 30.5 million annual passenger capacity. It recorded 45.3 million passengers in 2018. — Arjay L. Balinbin