2 regional airport projects advance
Two unsolicited airport proposals worth almost P53 billion have been allowed to advance for further approval, the Department of Transportation announced on Tuesday.
The DOTr said in a statement that businessman Dennis Uy’s Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp., which made a P49-billion unsolicited offer for the Davao International Airport, was awarded an original proponent status (OPS). Mega 7 Construction Corp. also won an OPS for its P3.8-billion proposal for the Kalibo International Airport, the DOTr announced. Both offered to operate, maintain and further develop the respective airports through a 30-year concession period.
The OPS was awarded through the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. Projects passing the OPS stage are endorsed to the National Economic and Development Authority, whose board chaired by President Duterte will give final approval. After this comes a Swiss challenge, a bidding process where rival companies would be allowed to submit better terms. The original proponent, however, has the right to match any offer and win the project.
The granting of an OPS is no guarantee that a project will be bid out via a Swiss challenge. In 2017, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. won an OPS for its Metro Rail Transit 3 upgrade proposal. However, the DOTr decided this year that it would bid out the project through a solicited process.
Nevertheless, the DOTr’s decision, for now, signaled its interest for private sector to participate in the development of gateways outside Manila.
“The Davao and Kalibo International airports have been lined up for development and among DOTr’s high priority infrastructure projects under President Duterte’s ‘Build Build Build’ program,” the DOTr said.
Other unsolicited airport projects that have won OPS under President Duterte included Naia Consortium’s P102-billion plan for Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport and San Miguel Corp.’s P800-billion proposal to build a new international airport in Bulacan province.
Last month, Aboitiz InfraCapital, a subsidiary of conglomerate Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., bagged an OPS for its offer to operate and further develop the New Bohol International Airport.
The new airport, located on Panglao Island, is intended to replace the current airport in Tagbilaran City, which is currently serving under a million passengers a year. AIC’s offer is a bet on Bohol’s future prospects, given that the new gateway has a larger capacity.
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