DOTr starts bidding process for P108-B airport projects


By Miguel R. Camus | Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Department of Transportation is targeting to hold a qualification process for the P108-billion provincial airport modernization public private partnership project in about two months, a government official said.

The PPP project, which was relaunched under the Duterte administration with significant changes, involved the privatization of the development, operations and maintenance of five regional gateways: Bacolod-Silay, Davao, Iloilo, Laguindingan and New Bohol (Panglao) airports.

“Sometime in April, we will come out with the deadline for the submission of qualification (requirements),” Roberto Lim, transportation undersecretary for aviation, said.

So far, the DOTr had made it known to bidders that the PPP, which the Aquino administration failed to bid out because the auction date fell so close to the May 9, 2016 polls, would be pursued.

Five groups were pre-qualified in the original process. These were Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which partnered with Aéroports de Paris and TAV Havalimanlari Holdings A.S; San Miguel Corp. and South Korea’s Incheon Airport; Aboitiz Equity Ventures with VINCI Airports; Megawide Construction Corp. and India’s GMR Infrastructure, and the Filinvest Group with Japan’s Sojitz and Jatco.

A new qualification process was called for because the PPP terms were revised. Instead of the five airports being “bundled” into two groups, the current administration decided to bid out each airport under a separate contract.

That meant bidders would make a separate offer for each airport. The decision was criticized by some of the original pre-qualified groups.

Nevertheless, those that have qualified before would be automatically qualified for this round “provided there are no changes in their legal, technical and financial capacity”, the DOTr said.

The most prized among the regional airports is the Davao International Airport, the country’s third-busiest after Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Mactan Cebu International Airport. Davao handled 2.8 million passengers in 2012, a figure that likely swelled since then, the DOTr said.

Lim also gave an update on airport projects outside the PPP scheme.

These involved the Puerto Princesa, San Vicente and Busuanga airports in Palawan.