More 'sweeteners' for Cebu airport project
MANILA, Philippines - Another revision.
On October 24, the Department of Transportation and Communication added more "sweeteners" to the terms of the P17.5-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) expansion project to make it more attractive to pre-qualified bidders.
The recent bid bulletin issued by DOTC undersecretary Atty. Jose Perpetuo Lotilla is the second revision the government has made to ensure the bidding for the crucial project involving the 2nd busiest airport in the country will not be a failure as another under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme was.
The ammendments to the concession agreement include lengthening the period that other airports and related businesses near the MCIA are banned from being developed, making the Cebu airport more exclusive and more profitable due to lack of competition.
The moratorium on the construction of new airports near MCIA and upgrade of current domestic airports in the islands of Cebu and Mactan to international airport status has been lengthened to 25 years from the previous 20.
“The grantors shall procure that during the subsistence of this concession agreement, neither the grantors nor any government authority shall, at any time before the end of the 25th contract year, operate or cause to be operated a new international or domestic airport for handling scheduled commercial passenger traffic taking off or landing in the Mactan and Cebu islands,” the DOTC said in the bulletin.
The DOTC, however, emphasized that development of other means of transportation and construction of any new and existing airports catering to chartered flights only are not part of the moratorium.
The prohibition would also not apply in the islands of Bantayan and Camotes of Cebu.
Aside from the 25-year moratorium, the DOTC will also impose a ban on the construction of any competing commercial car park facility or any competing hotel facilities within the 500 meter radius from the perimeter of the project land under the supervision of the MCIA Authority.
Aquino's approval needed
The new project terms are subject for approval by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, the highest social and economic development planning and policy coordinating body chaired by President Benigno Aquino III.
DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya has said the changes in the MCIA project terms are part the agenda of the NEDA board meeting scheduled on the last week of October or before mid-November.
The DOTC postponed the August 28 bidding schedule to finalize the concession agreement of the airport project – one of the big-ticket infrastructure projects under flagship PPP scheme of the Aquino administration.
The agency overhauled the project terms in September after a series of consultation with pre-qualified bidders and set the auction date on November 15.
Seven groups of Filipino and foreign firms were prequalified to join the bidding. These groups include:
- Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and JG Summit Holdings Inc. (joint venture), with Aeroports de Lyon
- AAA Airport Partners (joint venture of Ayala Land and Aboitiz Equity Ventures), with ADC & HAS Airports Inc.
- Filinvest and Changi Airports Mena Pte. Ltd.
- San Miguel Corp. and Lucio Tan group (joint venture), and Incheon Airport International Corp.
- First Philippine Airports (consortium of Lopez-led First Philippine Holdings Corp. and Infratil Asia Ltd.
- Henry Sy's Premier Airport Group and Zurich Airport International AG
- Megawide Construction Corp. and GMR Infrastructure Ltd. (joint venture)
The Cebu airport project involves the construction of a new passenger terminal with capacity of 8 million passengers per yearand the upkeep of old and new facilities and.
The existing terminal of the airport can accomodate 4.5 million passengers per year. (READ AND WATCH: Cebu airport expansion comes late)
The airport sits on a 797-hectare property, and has a single 3,300-meter runway and a full-length taxiway.
Cebu International Airport is the country's second busiest gateway, next to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila. - Rappler.com