Seven groups eye NAIA upgrade

NINOY Aquino International Airport (NAIA) check-in counters. — BW FILE PHOTO

By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter

SEVEN GROUPS have so far bought bidding documents for the rehabilitation of the aging Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), said the Transportation chief, who identified Incheon International Airport Corp. as the latest possible bidder.

“Seven have bought the bidding documents. We have met all of them. As long as there are questions, we will entertain all of the prospective bidders. We have to attend to their queries,” Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista told reporters on the sidelines of the 49th Philippine Business Conference and Expo in Manila City on Wednesday.

The Department of Transportation (DoTr) has conducted one-on-one meetings with four prospective bidders, and is set to schedule similar meetings with the others, Mr. Bautista added. 

Incheon International Airport developed and currently operates the international airport in the South Korean city.

Other companies that bought bidding documents are San Miguel Holdings Corp., Manila International Airport Consortium, Cengiz Insaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., GMR Airports International, Spark 888 Management, and Asia Airport Consortium.

The deadline for bid submission is on Dec. 27.

The NAIA rehabilitation project seeks to improve the airport’s annual passenger capacity to at least 62 million from 35 million.

The government opened the public bidding for the public-private partnership to upgrade and operate NAIA in August.

The contract term up for bidding is 15 years and is extendable by another 10 years.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bautista said the Philippines is in talks with other partners for official development assistance (ODA) as financing from China is no longer being pursued. 

“Wala na. (Not anymore). We’re talking to other possible ODA partners,” Mr. Bautista said about funding from China.

In September 2022, the DoTr said the Philippine government would resubmit its loan applications to China for major railway projects consisting of the first phase of the Mindanao railway project or the P83-billion Tagum-Davao-Digos segment, the long-haul south Philippine National Railways, and the Subic-Clark railway project.

Neil Banzuelo

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