The government on Wednesday opened the bidding for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport public-private partnership project. — PHILIPPINE STAR/MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

THE PHILIPPINE government on Wednesday invited local and foreign investors to bid for the P170.6-billion public-private partnership (PPP) project to upgrade and operate the aging Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The Department of Transportation (DoTr) and the Manila International Airport Authority issued on Wednesday the invitation to bid for the contract to rehabilitate, operate, optimize and maintain the NAIA.

The contract will initially cover 15 years but can be extended by another 10 years.

This project will be under a rehabilitate-operate-expand-transfer arrangement, as provided for under the Build-Operate-and-Transfer Law.

“With a total project cost of P170.6 billion, the NAIA PPP project will cover all facilities of the airport, including its runways, four terminals, and associated facilities,” the PPP Center said in a separate statement.

The NAIA PPP project, which was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board in July, aims to increase the current annual passenger capacity of the airport from 35 million to at least 62 million.

Under the indicative schedule, bids for the NAIA PPP project should be submitted on Dec. 27.

A draft concession agreement will be out on Sept. 8, while the final version will be released on Dec. 4.

A pre-bid conference is scheduled on Sept. 22, while one-on-one meetings with prospective bidders will be held in October and November.

Bidders can participate in the bidding once they have paid a non-refundable participation fee of P2.75 million or $50,000.

The bidding is open to local and foreign parties who comply with legal, technical and financial capability qualification requirements.

To qualify, a bidder must have been the owner or concessionaire of an airport for which capital costs reached at least P10 billion.

It must also have expertise and experience in operating and maintaining an international airport for at least three consecutive calendar years. The international airport should have handled at least 25 million passengers per annum, of which at least 10 million should have been international passengers.

The bidder must also have a net worth of at least P20 billion (or foreign currency equivalent) as of its latest audited financial statement. For consortiums, the net worth of members who have an equity share of at least 25% each in the consortium may be added to meet the required net worth.

Bidders should also be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, while foreign parties should be registered with the appropriate government agency in the foreign country where it was registered.

Bidders are also required to secure a letter testimonial from a domestic universal/commercial bank or an international bank in the Philippines attesting that the bidder or consortium members are “in good financial standing and are qualified to obtain credit accommodations from such banks to finance the project.”

The government had opted to bid out the NAIA PPP project under a solicited proposal scheme, effectively rejecting the unsolicited bid of the Manila International Airport Consortium (MIAC).

The MIAC’s proposal involved P267 billion worth of investment, which included a P57-billion upfront payment and around P211 billion in development costs over a 25-year concession period. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave