Consortium’s unsolicited bid for Naia upgrade hurdles DOTr

CALLING it a “major milestone” for an unsolicited proposal, a representative from the consortium that proposed the P350-billion expansion of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) said the group received a letter relating to the “completeness review” of the unsolicited offer.

Naia Consortium Spokesman Jose Emmanuel F. Reverente said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has declared the proposal “in accordance with the documentary requirements” stated in the build-operate-transfer law.

“This finding is a major milestone for an unsolicited proposal like ours to progress in the bureaucracy. An incomplete proposal does not move forward,” he said.

Naia Consortium’s P350-billion proposal involves expanding and interconnecting the existing terminals of the Naia, upgrading airside facilities and the development of commercial facilities.

Divided into two phases, the group’s proposal aims to increase the capacity of the Naia to about 100 million passengers per year. It also plans to construct a people mover that will link the Naia’s terminals to existing transport systems in Metro Manila.

Actual work will take 24 more months for the first wave of immediate expansion. Further expansions are planned to meet projected passenger demand moving forward.

More expansion will follow to meet the expected growth in tourism, business and the economy. In 2017 the four Naia terminals, designed to handle only 31 million, accommodated 42 million.

Reverente earlier called on the government to fast-track the approvals process of the group’s proposal.

Due to its nature, unsolicited proposals are required under law to go through several approvals processes, including a review from the implementing agency, and an evaluation from the several bodies of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

Under current rules, unsolicited proposals are also required to undergo a Swiss Challenge, which essentially allows other groups to outbid the original proponent of the project.

The original proponent, however, has the option to submit a counteroffer to win the challenge.

The winner of the challenge will be determined after the Neda Board, currently chaired by President Duterte, evaluates the challenger’s offer, and the original proponent’s counteroffer.

Hence, the process could go on for as quick as six months to over a year, and as long as almost a decade, as in the experiences in the past.

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. make up the Naia Consortium.

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Sources regularly see Lorenz at telco and transport conferences. He graduated from the University of Santo Tomas, and has been covering the beat since 2013. He likes to featurize stories, and tries to find another angle for spot news. He travels during his spare time, and likes his coffee black -- no cream, no sugar.

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