SMC’s Bulacan airport bid under ICC review

By Czeriza Valencia | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The concession agreement for the P735-billion international airport in Bulacan proposed by San Miguel Corp. is now being reviewed by the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

The NEDA Board chaired by President Duterte earlier approved the unsolicited proposal for a new international gateway on condition that a final examination of its concession agreement be undertaken by NEDA.

“The draft concession agreement has been submitted to us by DOTr (Department of Transportation). It is the agreement between the two parties. So, its now under review by the interagency group,” said NEDA Undersecretary Rolando Tungpalan said.

“We cannot put a firm deadline (on the completion of the review) because we do not want to preempt the directives of the ICC,” he added.

If the review satisfies the desired government parameters for the project such as rate of return, it may be endorsed for the conduct of a Swiss challenge.

“If the draft is consistent with what we approved, then we can proceed with the Swiss challenge. But if there is a deviation, it will come back (for review),” Tungpalan said.

Under a Swiss challenge, the government would invite other private groups to make competing offers for the unsolicited project. However, the original proponent has the right to match them.

The proposed international gateway would be constructed within a 2,500-hectare property in Marilao, Bulacan of which 1, 168 hectares will be an airport complex while the remaining 1, 332 hectares will serve as a city complex. The gateway is expected to be completed in six years upon approval, servicing 100 million passengers annually.

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