Philippine economic managers to OK three airport projects

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Economic managers will discuss and likely approve at least three airport projects—including the proposed rehabilitation of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) - when the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (Neda ICC-CabCom) meets on September 27.

Economic managers will discuss and likely approve at least three airport projects—including the proposed rehabilitation of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia)—when the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (Neda ICC-CabCom) meets on September 27.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said Wednesday that the next Neda ICC-CabCom meeting will include in its agenda the Naia Consortium’s proposal to operate and upgrade the country’s main gateway.

This proposal of a group of tycoons had been unable to take off as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) recently revealed a new policy under which unsolicited offers for existing airports were required to follow the template of Clark International Airport's operations and maintenance (O&M) contract.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier explained that following a template would reduce the negotiation period for unsolicited proposals, adding that failure to comply would mean rejection of such offers.

The Clark Airport deal bagged by a consortium led by JG Summit Holdings and Filinvest Development Corp. last year was considered by the government as a good template as the private sector carried the burden for some major risks.

However, Pernia said the Clark Airport formula cannot 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 co-chairs Neda ICC with Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.

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

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

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.

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