1st PPP rolled out under Duterte: 5 regional airports

MANILA, Philippines – The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has finally rolled out its first public-private partnership (PPP) venture: the operations, maintenance, and upgrade of 5 unbundled regional airports in Bacolod, Davao, Iloilo, Laguindingan, and Bohol.

In a newspaper notice on Tuesday, January 24, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) invited prospective bidders to participate in the auction of the following airport PPP projects: the P20.26-billion Bacolod-Silay Airport, the P30.40-billion Iloilo Airport, the P40.57-billion Davao Airport, the P14.62-billion Laguindingan Airport, and the P2.34-billion New Bohol (Panglao) Airport.

"Bidding is open to all interested bidders, whether local or foreign, subject to conditions for eligibility under the invitation documents, build-operate-transfer law, and other existing laws," the department said in the notice.

Only bidders who will buy the new invitation documents for each specific airport will be allowed to participate in the pre-qualification and bidding stages of the PPP projects.

The cost of the invitation documents is a non-refundable fee of P300,000, the notice showed.

These 5 airport PPP deals – cumulatively worth some P108.9 billion – were previously rolled out under the administration of former president Benigno Aquino III. (READ: PH sticks to bundled plan for 5 airports)

But the Aquino administration failed to bid out the PPP airport projects, which were bundled in two packages.

The Duterte administration then decided to unbundle the airports and bid these out individually.

Renewed interest from the consortia

The DOTr said previously pre-qualified bidders in the bundled airport project are considered pre-qualified in these unbundled deals, provided that there are no changes in their legal, technical, and financial capacities.

The 5 consortia that were pre-qualified during the first auction are the following: 

Even if these regional airport PPP deals were unbundled, they continue to lure big investors.

"Whatever they (government) do, we will bid," San Miguel Corporation president Ramon Ang told reporters last week in Filipino.

Filinvest was also quoted in BusinessWorld as saying that its consortium remains interested in these projects.

MPIC chairman Manuel Pangilinan had also said his company remains keen on regional airport development projects.

But AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, a subsidiary of Ayala Corporation, will not bid for the regional projects as it turns its attention to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) redevelopment project.

"We won't bid for the regional airports because we have to concentrate on NAIA PPP," AC Infrastructure president and CEO Rene Almendras said on the sidelines of an event in Makati on Tuesday, January 24.

For the DOTr, these PPP projects are aimed at improving the services of the regional airports by allowing private sector partners to handle their operations and maintenance as well as enhancement of airside and landside facilities.

"This is in line with the government's plan to develop international gateways in the countryside," the department said. – Rappler.com