THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Wednesday it is looking at implementing the P141-billion privatization project for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) in the first quarter of 2024.
Transportation Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Roberto Lim said the private concessionaire will have to shell out P141 billion for the deal, which includes upfront payment of P30 billion, annuity payments of P2 billion, and share from the total revenues to the government.
He noted that the target of implementing the project in the first quarter of 2024 is “very tough,” it is still doable.
“That is a very tough and tight schedule. We can say that it is doable in the first quarter of next year. It is doable that there will be a conclusion that could possibly be proclaimed by the government,” he said in a statement.
Last Friday, the DOTr and Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) submitted their joint proposal for the Naia Solicited Public Private Partnership (PPP) Project for approval by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board.
Under the deal, the private concessionaire will have 15 years to operate the airport and recover its investment. “That takes time. If there is more than one participant, we will have to talk to all of them. It will take time,” Lim said.
He added that the deal will have “upsides” in terms of efficiency in passenger and flight movement, and generate income for the government.
“There is a lot of upside when you upgrade Naia. You introduce efficiencies. That means you can process more passengers, you can take in more flights, and more revenues—means larger share for the government,” he said.
Lim clarified that once Naia has been privatized, Miaa will become a regulatory body. This, he said, will result in “no loss of employment, [as] airport employees will be offered the opportunity to work when the airport facilities are privatized.”
“The relationship between Miaa and the concessionaire will be regulator-operator. The Miaa will continue to operate as a body that will regulate, oversee,” he explained.
Lim emphasized that all airport assets at the Naia still belong to the government with the private concessionaire limited to an operations and management role.