NAIA

Megawide-GMR bags original proponent status for NAIA rehab project

Aika Rey
The Philippine government entertains the second unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate NAIA

The Philippine government has granted the original proponent status to listed Megawide Construction Corporation and its Bangalore-based partner GMR Infrastructure Limited for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) rehabilitation project.

“In a letter dated 15 July 2020, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) granted the consortium led by Megawide Construction Corporation with GMR as partner operator, the original proponent status for the development of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport,” Megawide said in a disclosure Friday, July 17.

This came after years of negotiations between the Philippine government and the NAIA Consortium collapsed. Before the exit of Manny V. Pangilinan, the NAIA Consortium was backed by the country’s 7 top conglomerates.

In 2018, Megawide submitted a $3-billion, 18-year unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate, develop, operate, and maintain the country’s main gateway.

Under the implementing rules and regulations of the Build-Operate-Transfer law, the second proposal would only be entertained if the first one – the proposal of the NAIA Consortium – is rejected.

On July 8, MIAA stripped the NAIA Consortium of its OPS for the $2-billion rehabilitation project after the latter raised bankability issues during the pandemic.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III had also said that other potential proponents include those with “very similar terms” for the Clark International Airport. Megawide-GMR is constructing CIA’s new passenger terminal, set to be operational in January 2021.

If negotiations move according to plan, the NAIA deal would be the 3rd airport project of Megawide-GMR. Its first gateway deal was the country’s first public-private partnership (PPP) project, which was the expansion, operations, and maintenance of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Once approved by the National Economic and Development Authority Board, the unsolicited proposal will undergo a Swiss challenge. With this procedure, the government invites private groups to make competing offers, but with Megawide-GMR having the right to match these.

NAIA, designed to handle only 31 million passengers, accommodated over 47 million passengers in 2019, according to MIAA. – Rappler.com