3 crucial airport projects good to go
By Ben O. de Vera
Philippine Daily Inquirer
September 19, 2019 at 5:08 am

Economic managers will discuss and likely approve at least three airport projects—including the proposed rehabilitation of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia)—when the persuasive National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (Neda ICC-CabCom) meets at the end of the month.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said on Wednesday the Neda ICC-CabCom would be including in its Sept. 27 agenda Naia Consortium’s proposal to operate and upgrade the country’s main gateway.

This proposal by a group of tycoons was unable to take off earlier as the Department of Transportation had revealed a new policy whereby unsolicited offers for existing airports were required to follow the template of Clark International Airport’s operations and maintenance (O&M) contract.

A key factor in this deal, eventually bagged by the consortium led by JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Filinvest Development Corp. last year, was a provision in which some major risks would be carried by the private sector.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier explained that following a template would reduce the negotiation period for unsolicited proposals. He said failure to comply would mean the offer would be rejected.

However, Pernia said the Clark Airport formula could not be fully applied in the case of the proposed Naia rehabilitation.

“It cannot be strictly the same because it’s not just pure O&M [as in the case of Clark Airport]—it’s O&M plus rehabilitation [for Naia],” explained Pernia, who cochairs Neda ICC with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

Besides the Naia rehabilitation project, Pernia said the Neda ICC-CabCom would also tackle the O&M and augmentation of Davao airport—an unsolicited proposal from Dennis Uy-led Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp.

Also in the agenda is Aboitiz Group’s unsolicited proposal for the Bohol-Panglao International Airport, according to the Neda chief.

Pernia said these three airport projects were recently taken up by the Neda ICC’s technical board and elevated for the ICC-Cabcom’s approval.

The projects will still be tackled by the Neda board led by President Duterte, but expect a smooth ride when the ICC gives the go signal.

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