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Megawide officially loses NAIA rehab bid

Megawide Construction Corp. on Tuesday confirmed that the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has junked the motion for reconsideration of the proposed rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

In a regulatory filing, Megawide said it was formally informed of the denial through a letter from the corporate secretary of the MIAA Board of Directors dated Monday, January 25, 2021.

"While we believe that we have met all the requirements of the government to undertake the rehabilitation of NAIA, we respect their decision on this matter, and we are ready to move on to other projects of equal significance," the disclosure read.

Megawide and its partner Bangalore-based GMA Infrastructure Ltd. in December appealed for the revocation of the original proponent status (OPS) on the NAIA rehabilitation bid, as the group clarified it has the financial capacity to proceed with the project, one of the concerns of the government.

The MIAA, in a board meeting on December 4, decided to revoke the OPS of the Megawide-GMR Group for the P109-billion project, after the government said the private proponent failed to meet the deadlines given. Megawide said, however, that there were no deadlines set.

The revocation of the OPS was later ratified by the MIAA in a subsequent meeting on December 15, albeit with two caveats -- MIAA will continue with its ongoing NAIA rehabilitation and reconstruction program; and that Megawide retains its procedural rights to the project

The Megawide consortium was granted the OPS for the NAIA rehabilitation in July 2020, after talks with the NAIA Consortium -- made up of several of the country's largest conglomerates -- collapsed.

The original $3-billion unsolicited proposal of the Megawide consortium was submitted in March 2018, but was set aside in favor of the NAIA Consortium whose proposal was received by the government first.

Megawide managing director for transport Manuel Louie Ferrer in November said the company is optimistic that the Swiss Challenge for the project could be completed by March 2021.

"We truly wish the government and other interested parties success in the transformation of NAIA. With its location at the heart of the capital region, it remains a vital airport for Metro Manila and the Philippines. We sincerely hope for its full rehabilitation for the benefit of Filipinos and the entire Philippine airport system," said Megawide.

After Megawide, MIAA said at least two more private proponents have signified their intention to bid for the NAIA rehabilitation project -- the Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc. (PAGSS), and San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

Shares in Megawide closed Tuesday down by 47 centavos or 5.89% to P7.51 apiece, while those in SMC fell by P1.00 or 0.78% to P127.90 apiece. -MDM, GMA News

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