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DOTr eyes inclusion of three regional airport PPP projects in next ICC-CabCom meeting

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is fast-tracking the processing of the unsolicited proposals for regional airports across the country, with at least three targeted to be included in discussions of the Cabinet Committee of the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) later this month.

On Wednesday, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said he is optimistic that the three regional airport projects — the Laguindingan, Bohol (Panglao), and Bicol airports — will be discussed by the ICC-CabCom of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board on May 29.

During the Makati Business Club’s F2F with Cab Secs, Bautista said the NEDA has requested for additional documents regarding the three unsolicited proposals, which he is optimistic that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) within the day.

The projects were rolled out under previous administrations, and were earlier part of the bundled regional airport projects bid out by the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center. These were then unbundled and taken as individual projects.

According to Bautista, there are unsolicited proposals for nine regional airports, which are now being fast-tracked by the agency. It is also looking at the recent unsolicited proposal submitted by a consortium for the upgrade of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The group includes Aboitiz Infracapital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Alliance Global-Infracorp Development Inc., Filinvestment Development Corp., JG Summit Infrastructure Holdings Corp., and US-based Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

Moving forward, Bautista said there is still a market for more airports across the country, and even within the Greater Capital Region as the NAIA handled 42 million passengers prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, higher than its 32-million capacity.

Airports located nearby Metro Manila are the Clark International Airport and the planned Bulacan and Sangley airports.

“The DOTr welcomes all these airports. We need airports. Manila International Airport is very congested… We really need those additional airports to serve the requirements only of Luzon,” he said. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News