MANILA, Philippines — Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. — the infrastructure unit of the Aboitiz Group — gained headway in its proposal to operate, maintain and develop the New Bohol International Airport after bagging the original proponent status, or OPS.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Friday, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc., the public holding company of the Aboitiz Group, said the offer seeks to “unlock the tourism potential of Bohol and the rest of the region.”

The new airport, located on Panglao Island and also called the Panglao Island International Airport , is intended to replace the current airport in Tagbilaran City, which serves almost one million passengers per year.

Being the original bidder, Aboitiz InfraCapital has the right to match the offers given by other groups via a Swiss challenge.

“We believe our proposal provides an expedient and comprehensive solution for the immediate and long-term needs of the New Bohol International Airport,” said Sabin Aboitiz, president and chief executive officer of Aboitiz InfraCapital.

“We also remain committed and ready to support the government in its initiative to develop and enhance other regional airports throughout the country,” Aboitiz added.

Last April, Aboitiz Equity Ventures said the transportation department rejected its infrastructure arm’s P148-billion pitch to modernize four key regional airports, including the New Bohol Airport, after the government adopted a policy to publicly solicit bids for the operations, maintenance and development of all airport projects.

The Aboitiz Group later revised and resubmitted its proposal after being told by the government to unbundle its offer, as many of the airports can stand on their own.

Aboitiz decided to push through with its plans for the New Bohol Airport.

By Ian Nicolas Cigaral (
September 28, 2018 – 1:29pm