DOTC eyes bundling of smaller airports for privatization

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Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya FILE PHOTO

The government is considering the privatization of operating airports in Davao, Bacolod and Iloilo in a single package, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said on Wednesday.

Abaya said bundling smaller provincial airports would make them more attractive to large international players as it would give them the scale they required.

The Department of Transportation and Communication is currently in the process of bidding out the P17.5-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport. The project, the agency’s first airport public private partnership (PPP) deal, has already drawn most of the country’s largest conglomerates and their foreign partners, including Singapore’s Changi Airport and South Korea’s Incheon Airport.

“If you want the Changis and Incheons of this world to come (to the Philippines), an airport like Cebu-Mactan would be their smallest. So if you bid out anything smaller there will be no takers,” Abaya said during a roundtable discussion with the Inquirer Business Section.

Bringing in known players to run airports efficiently is in line with the government’s goal of boosting tourist arrivals to 10 million by 2016 from about 4.3 million last year.

Taken together, the air gateways in Davao, Bacolod and Iloilo handled about 5.5 million passengers in 2011, government statistics showed. This is comparable to the six million passengers that Mactan-Cebu Airport handled in the same period.

“You have to package it. If we bid out Bacolod, Iloilo and Davao, the winner will operate all three,” Abaya said.

The DOTC is also considering bidding out the operations of upcoming or completed provincial airports in Panglao in  Bohol, the newly opened Laguindingan near Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Caraga in Northeast Mindanao and Tacloban in Leyte.

Abaya said the DOTC had yet to decide on the privatization of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), Metro Manila’s main air terminal, which had been suffering from congestion problems. Abaya said Naia handled about 8 million passengers per year.

He said this option remained in the cards, even under a dual airport system, which referred to maintaining Naia and Clark International Airport in Pampanga as gateways to Metro Manila.

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  • les21reago

    Besides hallucinating in Office ABAYA is SELLING the patrimony of the nation?

    • southDUDE

      What patrimony are you talking about?

  • eight_log

    Abaya is truly US of A educated!!!! Just like the US of A, not far away into the future …. the only thing not privatized will be the office of the president …. hahahaha. I hope there is no truth to the haka haka that Ping’s Security agency is into talks to take over the Philippine military to improve its efficiency!!!! Just like the small airports combined, the military comes in a scale just right for Ping’s security agency!!!!!!

  • joboni96

    itong si abaya
    kampon din ni zte aroyo

    ipagbibili na naman kayamanan ng pilipino
    sa mga dayuhan

    mahina ka ba
    at di mo kayang maayos mga airport na mga iyan

    mukhang mali ang training mo
    sa anapolis

  • erine0

    Decentralize NAIA and allow more flights from provincial airports into regional hubs abroad. It will decongest NAIA and allow for cheaper flights to other destinations around the world.

  • kruger

    Finally, a strange paradigm shift in the DOTC!

    • southDUDE

      Please spare Lolong. The croc died while being abused by the LGU of Bunawan. Instead of getting money as the non-literal crocs from government do, Lolong gave money through entrance fees and other income derived from his “show”. Long live the legacy of Lolong!!!

  • kismaytami

    So how much will be the increase for airport fees? Does the contract include “clean restrooms”?

  • catalansbarce

    That’s a very good idea of Secretary Abaya so far, e privatize ang mga airports.
    I suggest to a very good secretary na ang lahat ng mga airports., local
    or international e privatize.

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