By Lorenz S. Marasigan, March 27 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Business Mirror

UNSOLICITED proposals for the development of airports near Manila should be up and running within next month, with one group risking losing its deal due to its supposed inability to agree with the government on certain terms.

Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said he is giving the Naia Consortium until April 30 to come to an agreement with the government on certain provisions of the deal.

“We want to hasten the decision on the unsolicited proposal of Naia Consortium. Our discussions are too long. So what I want is that we have to come to an agreement by April 30; after that I will stop talking to them,” he said at a media briefing on Tuesday.

Naia Consortium, a team of Filipino conglomerates, offered to rehabilitate, expand, operate and maintain the Ninoy Aquino International Airport through a P102-billion investment spread across 15 years.

Tugade did not disclose any point of contention on the proposal, but merely said that there are several provisions that need to be refined.

Other groups

“We want to continue with our plans if this does not move forward. I have a budget from the general appropriations. And yes, we can entertain other groups, but that’s just an option,” he said.

Megawide Construction Corp. has also proposed to develop Naia for $3 billion with a concession period of 18 years. It has partnered with GMR Infrastructure Ltd. of India for this unsolicited offer.

Naia Consortium, on the other hand, is composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

In another development, Transportation Undersecretary Manuel B. Tamayo said his group will start with the Swiss Challenge for the Bulacan International Airport deal of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) within April.

“We are now finalizing the terms of reference for the Swiss Challenge. Once completed, hopefully within the next two weeks we can publish it. It will take approximately 60 days for other groups to submit a better offer than that of original proponent. Then we will have the notice of award,” he said in the same briefing.

Unsolicited proposals, under the law, should undergo a competitive challenge, wherein other parties may vie for the project by offering a better-priced proposal than the original proponent. The original proponent will then have the right to match the offer to win the deal.

Under its proposal, San Miguel wants to spend P754 billion to develop the Bulacan International Airport, envisioned as a 2,500-hectare airport complex with a total capacity of 100 million passengers annually, and a provision to build an 8.4-kilometer airport toll road.

The proposal also included the construction of a sea port, an industrial zone and expressways. SMC’s proposed concession period is 50 years.

Ramon S. Ang, the company’s president, said his group is excited to hit the ground running for the airport this year, calling the project a sustainable development for the province of Bulacan and its neighbors.