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14
Mar

Gov’t to review airport proposals

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By Imee Charlee C. Delavin | BusinessWorld Online

THE GOVERNMENT will review all airport proposals submitted by different firms, including one from the GMR-Megawide consortium on the development of Clark International Airport.

In a statement, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said they are presently reviewing all proposals regarding all airports and will be submitting them to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) -- Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) at the “soonest possible time.”

“[We’re looking at] all proposals, unsolicited proposals are being reviewed by NEDA. All [including Megawide],” Transportation Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Roberto C. Lim told reporters on Monday.

For Clark International Airport, the DOTr said the passage of Executive Order No. 14 reverting the airport to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) will also require them to involve state-run agency in the process of reviewing proposals for Clark. The review of the proposal is “ongoing” and will be submitted to the NEDA soon.

Last week, Mr. Lim said the Filinvest Group and JG Summit Holdings, Inc. submitted to the government a P186.64-billion unsolicited proposal to develop Clark International Airport. The proposal, which concession period of 50 years and covers the improvement of current facilities at the Clark International Airport, includes capacity augmentation in five phases to accommodate 36 million passengers annually; and operations and maintenance of the airport.

GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), which currently operates the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, also said their unsolicited proposal to develop Clark last year was rejected by the government.

DOTr’s Mr. Lim said GMR-Megawide can submit its proposal again since the project is still “open,” noting the consortium’s proposal was “discontinued” because it was submitted when the Clark “was not yet open for PPP,” referring to the government’s public-private partnership scheme.

PPP Center Executive Director Ferdinand A. Pecson said on Monday that they will have to review first GMR-Megawide’s unsolicited proposal.

“[We’ll do] the usual stage of checking for completion, checking for eligibility. We will first have to check for completeness and eligibility and also if it fits their overall development plan... After that we will then decide if it will have an OP (original proponent) status,” Mr. Pecson said at the sidelines of the pre-qualification conference for the unbundled airports project.

Once its granted an OP status, the PPP chief said there will be negotiations, and then submitted to the NEDA-ICC.

“For Clark, [we’re reviewing just one]... that one of JG Summit and Filinvest. I haven’t encountered their [Megawide] proposal for Clark. Not yet. If they have, then hindi pa nakarating sakin,” Mr. Pecson said.

This is not the first time the Filinvest group expressed interest in an airport project. FDC teamed up with Singapore’s Changi Airports, Inc. to submit P14-billion bid for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport expansion project in December 2013. However, it lost out to the consortium of Megawide Construction Corp. and India’s GMR Infrastructure Ltd., which offered P14.4 billion.

The Duterte government has been promoting the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark as an alternative gateway to help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

Clark International Airport currently hosts carriers such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Dragon, Jin Air, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Tigerair.

Current capacity at the Clark airport is 4.2 million passengers per annum.