Gov’t seeks bidders for Clark
The Duterte administration is readying an invitation to bidders for the operation and maintenance of the Clark International Airport in Pampanga province.
This after the government awarded late last year a contract to expand the gateway, which is being positioned as an alternative to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) in Manila.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the publishing date of the invite could happen around March this year.
“We’ve approved the parameters and guidelines for the O&M (contract),” he said.
The government is following through with the first of its hybrid public-private partnership (PPP) projects. Under this policy, the government will pay for the construction of the terminal while the private sector will later be invited for the O&M component.
The Clark Airport project is being undertaken by the DOTr and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.
Last year, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract was awarded to a venture between Megawide Construction Corp. and India’s GMR Infrastructure. This is the same group that is operating and expanding the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
Megawide-GMR, which said they were also keen on the Clark O&M, are building a new passenger terminal that would triple capacity at Clark Airport to 12 million passenger annually by 2020.
Due to the hybrid policy for Clark Airport, the government had rejected several unsolicited proposals from the private sector, including those from Megawide-GMR and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. More recently, it turned down the second offer of Filinvest Development Corp. and JG Summit Holdings to develop and operate Clark Airport to the tune of almost P840 billion.
The Duterte administration wants to increase capacity at Clark Airport, which it sees as a viable alternative to Naia. It is also moving forward with a Japan-funded railway system that would link Manila and Clark by 2022.
Naia handles more than 40 million passengers a year, well above its design capacity of about 30 million passengers. Congestion on its two intersecting runways also curtails further growth and causes delays.
The DOTr is also currently studying private sector offers to build new international airports around Metro Manila and a consortium of seven conglomerates in partnership with Singapore’s Changi Airport Group to upgrade and operate Naia.
These include the P700 billion proposal of San Miguel Corp. to build a new air gateway in Bulakan, Bulacan province. The project is currently being evaluated by the National Economic and Development Authority.
The Naia offer, meanwhile, is a P350 billion proposal that would initially improve and expand existing facilities and, later on, add taxiways, passenger terminals and a third runway, which would help support an annual capacity of 100 million passengers.
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