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05
May

Government may remove Davao Airport from PPP line-up

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By Louella Desiderio | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines -  The government may remove the Davao Airport from the regional airports project under the public-private partnership (PPP) program and pursue its development instead.

Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade told reporters yesterday the government wants to study if the Davao Airport should no longer be included in the regional airports projects given the latest developments there.

He said the Davao Airport was included in the regional airports PPP project before the term of President Duterte.

After Duterte became president, Mindanao, particularly Davao, has become a more attractive location both for businesses as well as for tourists.

“Because of these new developments, we need to study if it (Davao Airport) should still be included. It might be better for government to undertake development first because of the changes,” he said.

The PPP project involves the development, operations and maintenance of the five regional airports such as Davao, Laguindingan, New Bohol (Panglao), Bacolod and Iloilo.

When the project was rolled out by the previous administration, it was offered in bundles. Bundle 1 was composed of the Iloilo Airport and Bacolod-Silay Airport, while Bundle 2 covered the Davao Airport, New Bohol (Panglao) Airport and the Laguindingan Airport.

The current administration has decided to unbundle the five airports, however, to expedite selection and award.

Last month, the Department of Transportation announced it has moved the date of submission of qualification documents for the regional airports to June 15, from May 11.

During the previous administration, the government had pre-qualified the following groups to bid for the project: Philippine Airports Consortium, Maya Consortium, GMR-Megawide Consortium, San Miguel Holdings Corp.-Incheon International Airport Corp. Consortium, and Filinvest-JATCO-Sojitz Consortium.

Earlier, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), which is part of the Philippine Airports Consortium, said its foreign partner Aeroports de Paris has decided to pull out as the unbundling of the airports would not allow them to get the returns they need.

Sought for comment yesterday, MPIC president and chief executive officer Jose Ma. Lim told reporters, the infrastructure conglomerate is still looking for a new partner.

“If we find a partner, yes, we will be interested to participate, but it all depends on our ability to attract a partner given these are the smaller airports,” he said.