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NAIA Consortium bags original proponent status for P105-B airport rehab

A consortium of seven of the biggest conglomerates in the country has received the original proponent status (OPS) for its proposal to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The NAIA Consortium said it received the OPS from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Manila International Airport Authority, according to a regulatory filing submitted  by JG Summit Holdings Inc. corporate secretary Rosalinda Rivera on Thursday.

“This OPS is the first step in the NAIA receiving an upgrade to improve the passenger experience for Manila’s international gateway ...”

Aside from JG Summit, the NAIA Consortium counts as members Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development Corp., and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

The group submitted an unsolicited proposal on Feb. 12, 2018, with the project cost initially pegged at P350 billion. It has since modified its submission and reduced the cost to P105 billion with a 15-year concession period.

Phase one of the project entails improving and expanding the terminals to increase the airport’s capacity to 65 million passengers. The project is expected to be completed in 48 months.

The second phase involves the development of additional runway, taxiways, passenger terminals, and associated support infrastructure.

“The NAIA Consortium looks forward to working closely with the DOTr and MIAA to progress this initiative. We are committed to see this project through and to follow the proper legal processes,” Jose Reverente, NAIA Consortium spokesperson, said.

“Our fellow Filipinos can expect a better airport experience as early as the third year from the time we commence rehabilitation work,” he added.

The next step now is a Swiss Challenge, with other prospective bidders making competing offers and the original proponent having the right to match the offers.

“We intend to complete everything, including the Swiss Challenge, within the year,” Goddes Libiran, DOTr spokesperson, told GMA News Online.

The Consortium earlier tapped Changi Airport International, the operator of Singapore’s Changi airport—dubbed as one of the best airports in the world—to provide technical support for the project.

The group plans to tap foreign financing for the project, but details have yet to be finalized.

“The consortium will tap financing ... It will depend on what the government will say about their preferred debt-to-equity structure,” Reverente said. —VDS, GMA News