Conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc. is keeping an eye on airport projects that the government would auction off other than the P17.5- billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport, which the Gokongweis are bidding for together with Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
JG Summit president Lance Gokongwei said last week that the company would consider airport deals in areas like Iloilo and Bacolod, which the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) might bid out under the public private partnership (PPP) framework.
The DOTC in June said it might bundle three airports—Davao, Iloilo, and Bacolod—under a single PPP. This, according to the DOTC, would give the deal more scale and draw larger international operators and local partners.
“We will have to look at the terms of reference. I think that after Cebu, they (DOTC) are looking at Bacolod and Iloilo (and Davao). They might bundle it so it’s the same size as Cebu,” Gokongwei said.
It was not clear whether JG Summit would pursue future airport ventures alone or in partnership with Metro Pacific.
The two groups formed early this year MPIC-JGS Airport Consortium Inc., which would bid for the contract to rehabilitate, expand and operate Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
MPIC-JGS Airport Consortium was among the seven groups pre-qualified to bid for the airport deal, the first to be auctioned off by the DOTC. The others include the SM group, Ayala-Aboitiz partnership and San Miguel Corp as well as foreign partners such as Singapore’s Changi and Incheon of South Korea.
The PPP Center, which originally planned to bid out Cebu-Mactan on Aug. 28 but pushed back the schedule to refine the concession agreement, said the auction would push through by the end of next month.
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 6 million passengers that Mactan-Cebu Airport handled during that period.
“You have to package it. So if we bid out Bacolod, Iloilo and Davao, the winner will operate all three,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said in a previous interview.