THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said it is now reviewing the new draft agreement submitted by the super consortium seeking to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Monday.

Transportation Undersecretary for Planning Ruben S. Reinoso, Jr. said that after the assessment of the DoTr, the agreement may be turned over to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for further evaluation.

“We’ll review compliance with (existing) agreements and if ok, endorse to NEDA,” he said in a text message Tuesday, referring to the NAIA consortium’s submitted draft agreement late Monday.

Mr. Reinoso said the DoTr and the consortium agreed on provisions of the draft agreement last Friday. The government earlier set an April 30 deadline for the deal.

The draft agreement includes amended provisions “pertaining to acts of LGU (local government units), judiciary & legislative,” Mr. Reinoso said.

Once the proposal is approved by the NEDA Investment Coordination Committee and the NEDA Board, a Swiss challenge would be conducted.

Under the Swiss challenge, other companies will be invited to submit competing proposals, which the consortium will then have the chance to match.

The consortium initially said it wants to start the competitive process by mid-2019 and kick off the NAIA rehabilitation later this year.

In a chance interview Monday, Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said the DoTr wants the concession agreement for the NAIA rehabilitation to be patterned after the concession deal on the Clark International Airport.

“We are now comparing the template with Clark with their final proposal. If it is in parallel, then it’s a go. Okay na ’yun [That’s okay],” he told reporters.

Mr. Tugade earlier imposed the April 30 deadline, threatening the consortium that he may drop the proposal because he found the negotiations to be taking too long. The negotiations started after the group was given original proponent status in September.

The NAIA consortium is seeking to rehabilitate and expand NAIA over a 15-year period, with a concession price of P102 billion. It said this will increase the capacity of the Manila gateway from the current 30.5 million annual passengers to 47 million in two years and to 65 million in four years.

The consortium is composed of seven of the country’s top conglomerates, namely: 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