Thursday, November 26, 2020

NEDA Board okays NAIA rehab offer


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A so-called super consortium’s unsolicited P102-billion proposal to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has secured the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia. PHOTO BY ALVIN I. DACANAY

According to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, the offer — which the board approved during its meeting on Friday — would mainly involve enhancing passenger experience and improving people’s movement in the terminal building.

“[It will also] improve the movement of planes in the airport for faster taxiing [and] parking….” Pernia told reporters.

The approval comes after the NAIA Consortium — made up of top companies AC Infrastructure Holdings, Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., Alliance Global Group Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. — bagged in September 2018 the original proponent status for its offer to improve the country’s main air hub.

The group initially proposed to fix and run NAIA for 35 years at a project cost of P350 billion. This was later revised to 15 years and P102 billion.

It submitted the revised offer in July after the Department of Transportation (DoTr) ordered the proposal to be patterned after the Clark International Airport deal to standardize unsolicited offers for airport developments.

The proposal will now undergo a Swiss challenge, in which other groups can submit counteroffers that the consortium, as the original proponent, can match.

The NAIA Consortium welcomed the approval.

“We welcome this good news and we look forward to a brand new, bigger, and world-class NAIA,” consortium spokesman Jose Reverente said in a text message.

In a separate statement, NEDA said the board also approved the unsolicited proposal to operate, maintain and enhance the New Bohol Panglao International Airport in Bohol province; and the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project, which aims to give Davao City a modern, high-priority bus system. Both will be implemented by the DoTr.

Four other projects also got the board’s nod: the Department of Public Works and
Highways’ Pasacao-Balatan Coastal Tourism Highway project, which aims to provide access to various tourism rites and provide a direct link between the two aforementioned towns in Camarines Sur province; Samal Island-Davao City Connector project, which aims to reduce travel time and reliability constraints by using ferry services; and Camarines Sur High-Speed Highway, which shall serve as an alternative travel route from Legazpi City or Caramoan town in Region 5 (Bicol) to Manila and vice versa; and the Department of Health’s Development Objective Assistance Agreement: Improved Health for Underserved Filipinos project, which shall address issues on logistics and pharmaceutical management, shortages of qualified health professionals in underserved areas, and inadequate public sector capacity in policy development, financing and private sector engagement.

“Five out of seven of these new projects will be implemented outside the National Capital Region. This shows that the [Duterte] administration is committed to develop growth centers in the regions and maximize the economic benefits of connectivity of communities,” Pernia said.

The board also confirmed the ICC-Cabinet Committee’s approval of the increase in cost and change in scope of the Mindanao Railway Project–Tagum-Davao-Digos Segment to P81.69 billion.




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