Tugade: Megawide still has chance for NAIA rehabilitation project
MANILA, Philippines — Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said that Megawide Construction Corp. and GMR Infrastructure still has a chance to renovate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
During Thursday’s Senate public services hearing, Tugade said Megawide could still appeal the revocation of its original proponent status (OPS) for the NAIA rehabilitation.
“Kung may motion of reconsideration na isusumite ‘yung Megawide, i-sumite ‘yan bago ‘yung next board meeting (ng Manila International Airport Authority) para nang sa gano’n ma-take up po ‘yan,” the transport chief said.
Megawide-GMR was the consortium behind the Mactan-Cebu International Airport modernization that has won multiple international awards. In September, the two companies delivered the Clark International Airport complex to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) under budget and on time.
The government granted Megawide-GMR the OPS for the upgrade of NAIA in July after the consortium gave an unsolicited P109-billion proposal for the modernization of the country’s primary international airport.
Being granted the OPS means that Megawide-GMR could negotiate with the government as the private sector partner for the NAIA rehabilitation project and give it the right to match other proposals during the Swiss Challenge.
But after a board meeting of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) on December 4, the OPS of Megawide was revoked. The decision was ratified in another board meeting on December 15.
READ: NAIA rehab stalled anew
MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal told the Senate committee that the revocation of Megawide’s OPS came after a letter from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) was sent to Tugade, citing findings from its Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) that the firm’s equity position is “insufficient to finance the equity requirement for the proposed project.”
“[Megawide’s] equity position of P18 billion based on its 2019 audited financial statement is insufficient to finance the P32 billion for the project,” Monreal said, reading NEDA’s letter.
But Megawide Chief Business Development Officer Jaime Feliciano said the firm has “complied with the requirements set by the NEDA ICC.”
Feliciano explained that the total project cost for the 25-year development period of NAIA is P108.75 billion.
He said Megawide plans to finance this project with a combination of debt (70 percent) and equity (30 percent).
“’Yung 70 percent, which is P76 billion plus, walang isyung ni-raise ang and MIAA, DOTr or NEDA-ICC regarding capability. Ang issue lang po talaga is the equity portion, which is the 30 percent,” he said.
(On the 70 percent, which is P76 billion plus, the MIAA, DOTr and the NEDA-ICC did not raise any issue regarding capability. Their only issue is the equity portion, which is the 30 percent.)
The 30 percent of the P108.75 billion project cost is P32.63 billion, he noted.
“‘Yung Megawide net worth is P18 billion as of 2019 na audited financial statements pero hindi lang ‘yung Megawide magco-comply sa net worth, kasama si GMR. So ‘pag pinagsama sa pag-comply ng equity component, Megawide is 60 percent GMR is 40 percent,” he said.
(Megawide’s net worth is only P18 billion as per our 2019 audited financial statement but Megawide is not the only one that has to comply with the net worth requirement, even GMR is included. So the equity component is composed of Megawide, which is 60 percent and GMR with 40 percent.)
“Out of the P32.63 billion, 60 percent po no’n is P19.58 billion po ‘yung sa Megawide component. ‘Yung audited financial statement po namin is already P18 billion, so ang kulang na lang po is P1.58 billion,” he explained.
(Out of the P32.63 billion, the 60 percent from Megawide amounts to P19.58 billion. Our audited financial statement is already shows P18 billion, so the difference is only P1.58 billion.)
Feliciano said Megawide was able to fill the P1. 58 billion “through a set aside deposit that we have reserved exclusively for NAIA.”
“From our perspective, lahat ng requirements na sinet ng NEDA-ICC, sinubmit na namin so nagulat kami nung nareceive ‘yung news na ni-revoke yung OPS,” he added.
(From our perspective, we complied with all the requirements set by NEDA-ICC, we submitted those so we were surprised by the news that our OPS was revoked.)
Megawide reaffirmed its commitment to participate in the recovery of the country’s economy, adding that it would submit a request for MIAA to reconsider its decision revoking the OPS because it had already submitted all the necessary documents.
“As Senator (Grace) Poe said, time is of the essence and as Senator (Joel) Villanueva remarked how impressed he was with the transformation we did at Mactan Cebu International Airport – to date, the Philippines’ only globally award winning, first-world airport complex – we are ready to put shovels into the ground and deliver a world class airport for our capital region and for all Filipinos,” Megawide Executive Director for Infrastructure Development Louie Ferrer said.
Feliciano further said that Megawide is the “only Filipino company with the track record of excellence in airport design, engineering, construction and operations in this country and we are ready to do our part for NAIA’s transformation.”
Megawide chairman and CEO Edgar Saavedra, meanwhile, expressed gratitude to the Senate committee for giving the company an opportunity to air its side.
He also thanked both Tugade, Monreal and other transport officials “who were open to reevaluating our proposal again.”
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