MANILA, Philippines – Submission of bids for the P17.5-billion Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) expansion project scheduled for Friday, November 15 has been postponed as the socioeconomic planning board was unable to convene due to relief operations for Typhoon Yolanda victims.
“The NEDA board meeting did not push through under current circumstances,” Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) spokesperson Atty. Michael Arthur Sagcal said in a text message.
The government revised the concession agreement for the MCIA project to make it more attractive for investors. The final draft needs the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board before the project can be auctioned off.
Approval of the project terms was part of the agenda of the NEDA board meeting scheduled last Monday, November 11. The meeting was moved to Wednesday, November 13, but this too didn’t push through.
No new schedule for the meeting has been set, according to Sagcal. President Benigno Aquino III chairs the NEDA board.
The MCIA project is one of the big-ticket infrastructure projects under the Public-Private Partnership program, the centerpiece of the Aquino administration’s development goals. The administration launched the program in 2010 with the aim of creating vital infrastructure that will sustain the country’s economic growth.
Bidding 5 days after NEDA approval
Bid submission for the airport project will commence 5 days after the NEDA board approves it, Sagcal said.
“Should the proposed revisions [to the contract] be approved, then we will schedule the opening 5 days after,” he noted.
Other items that DOTC was supposed to present in the meeting were the LRT-MRT common station project, P60-billion LRT Line 1 extension project, and DOTC-Philippine Coast Guard capability development project, among others.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said Tuesday, November 12 that the list of items in the NEDA board meeting’s agenda was cut due to the ongoing relief and rescue operations in areas ravaged by Yolanda (international codename Haiyan). – Rappler.com