The so-called “super” consortium offering to upgrade the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is urging the government to expedite the proposal’s review in the wake of a rival bid.
“The government can expedite the approvals under existing rules. That will be the best scenario,” consortium spokesman Jimbo Reverente said in a statement.
“Once we complete our short-term expansion and upgrading plans, passenger convenience will be immediately felt. There will be more space for everybody and that is just the first step,” he added.
The consortium — made up of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group, Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings, Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. — last month submitted a P350-billion proposal to rehabilitate, expand and operate NAIA under a 35-year concession.
Reverante said that it would take 24 months to achieve an initial increase in capacity. Under the consortium’s plan, the facility is expected to be able to handle 65 million passengers per year, up from the current 30 million.
“[I]t is urgent for the country to get this project going because doing nothing as a result of a long approval process will set all of us back,” he said.
“But if we can have our first wave completed by, say, 2020, tourism can become so much stronger that it can be a third economic pillar after BPO (business process outsourcing) and OFW (overseas Filipino worker) remittances,” he added.
Earlier this month, the consortium of Megawide Construction Corp. and Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure Ltd. also submitted a proposal to expand NAIA.
GMR-Megawide’s $3-billion (approximately P156 million) offer is cheaper and it also set a shorter 16-year concession period before NAIA is returned to the government.
The Transportation department, which is the primary proponent of the NAIA project, has said that the proposals will be carefully evaluated.