The Department of Transportation will entertain new proposals for the multibillion-peso rehabilitation and upgrade of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, a top official said over the weekend.

“It’s still a priority. We will invite the private sector again to revisit the possibility of doing a PPP [public private partnership] for NAIA,” Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista told reporters.

“Maybe, Megawide and the super consortium can participate again,” he said.

Bautista said discussions on the redevelopment of NAIA should start within the year.

“Actually, we met some of the members of the consortium. They have given us their interest to start the discussion,” he said.

The NAIA Consortium, which includes Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development Corp. and JG Summit Holdings Inc. earlier submitted a proposal to rehabilitate NAIA for P102 billion.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. backed out from the consortium over unresolved issues with the government.

The members of the consortium sent a letter to the National Economic and Development Authority on July 6, 2020, informing the agency that they were not confident about financing the project and pushing through with it.

Megawide Construction Corp. and partner India-based GMR Infrastructure Ltd. also submitted a proposal to rehabilitate and upgrade NAIA for $3 billion with a contract period of 18 years. Megawide-GMR is the same group that built the new Mactan terminal facility.

The NAIA project aims to alleviate the worsening air traffic congestion at the main gateway and resolve capacity constraints by reconfiguring and renovating facilities and enhancing operation and maintenance.

The rehabilitation project also aims to broaden NAIA’s role as a key economic and tourism driver for Metro Manila and the whole Philippines, deliver capital infrastructure investment to improve the airport’s efficiency and increase its capacity to meet the growing passenger demand from the Philippines and the Asia Pacific region.

It was supposed to be implemented in three phases from 2021 to 2024.

Meanwhile, Bautista and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian agreed to restart negotiations for major transport projects.

The two officials discussed the resumption of talks for the major China-funded railway projects such as the PNR South Long Haul Project (North-South Commuter Railway), Subic-Clark Railway and Mindanao Railway (Tagum-Davao-Digos).

by Darwin G. Amojelar August 14, 2022, 6:25 pm