Concession deal for Cebu airport project OKd

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The much awaited concession agreement for the government’s first airport public private partnership (PPP) deal was finally released on Saturday, a senior government official said.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said this would pave the way for the start of the bidding process for the P17.5-billion Mactan-Cebu airport rehabilitation, expansion and operation contract.

The bid submission, which was delayed from the original bidding scheduled slated for Aug. 28, would proceed after a minimum of 30 days after the release of the concession agreement, Abaya said. Some prospective bidders, however, said they would need between 45 days and 75 days.

“The BAC (bid and awards committee) has not decided yet (on the bid submission date),” Abaya clarified in a text message.

The P17.5-billion airport project covers the construction of a world-class international passenger terminal building that can handle about eight million passengers a year, double the current capacity of Mactan-Cebu airport.

Nigel Villarete, general manager of Mactan – Cebu International Airport Authority, said the airport was running at almost 50 percent overcapacity, hence, the need to build a new terminal. He said the Mactan-Cebu Airport handled 6.7 million passengers last year.

Unresolved commercial issues were earlier tagged as the reason behind the delayed release of the concession agreement for the Mactan-Cebu Airport deal.

Concerns raised by the private sector included minimum performance and specification standards, operations of the Duty Free store, the role of local government units and real property taxes.

But given its growth prospects, the airport project drew some of the country’s biggest conglomerates and their respective foreign partners, some of which were behind world-class airport facilities in Singapore and South Korea.

Prequalified earlier to bid for the airport project were MPIC-JGS Consortium, a venture between Manuel Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Investments and Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings; AAA Airport Partners, a partnership between Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures; Gotinanun-led Filinvest Development Corp.; San Miguel Corp.; Lopez-led First Philippine Holdings; Henry Sy’s Premier Airport Group, and Megawide Construction Corp.

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