No More PPP for Regional Airports


DVO Airport

The Duterte administration has scrapped the public-private partnership (PPP) of five regional airports according to National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). Both the Department of Transportation and Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) also confirmed the termination of the bidding process for the New Bohol (Panglao), Davao, Iloilo, Laguindingan and Bacolod airports.

“The government, through the implementing agencies, the DOTr and CAAP, decided that the projects would be implemented through other modes,” according to the official statement.

With the termination of the PPP process, NEDA Undersecretary for Investment Programming Rolando Tungpalan said the hard infrastructure would now be funded through general appropriations while other modes of financing and implementation would be considered for the operations and maintenance (O&M) component of the projects which will be decided on ‘later.’

Iloilo Airport

 

 

 

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MPIC Seeks European Partner For Airport Bids


MANILA – Infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is in talks with a European company in its bid to land its first airport Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, MPIC chairman, told reporters that their prospective partner prefers to bid for the five regional airport projects worth P108.2 billion as a single bundle.

“The single bundle is more the preference of the foreign strategic partners that we spoke with. If it’s two bundles, its quite small so they prefer a big bundle,” he added.

Pangilinan said this European company is bigger than their partner in their failed bid for the P17.5-billion Mactan Cebu international airport expansion project bagged by the tandem of Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure and Filipino-owned Megawide Construction Corp.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has divided the five regional airports into two bundles so as to attract more investors in the dual-stage bidding process.

The first bundle consists of the P20.26- billion Bacolod – Silay airport and the P14.62-billion Laguindingan airport while the second bundle covers the P40.57-billion Davao airport, the P30.4 billion Iloilo airport, and the P2.34 billion New Bohol (Panglao) airport.

The government has extended the deadline to give interested companies more time to prepare their qualification documents. Six groups have expressed interest in the regional airports PPP projects.

Aside from MPIC, the other companies are JG Summit Holdings Inc. of taipan John Gokongwei, diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), the GMR-Megawide Group, Philippine Skylanders, the Aboitiz Group, and Tokyo-based Sojitz Corp.

The regional airport projects form part of the 13 PPP projects worth P400.8 billion so far rolled out by the Aquino administration.

PPP projects that have been rolled out include the P123-billion Laguna Lakeshore expressway dike project, the rebidding of the P55.51 billion Cavite – Laguna expressway, the P50.2 billion regional prisons facility, the P24.4 billion Bulacan Bulk Water Supply project, the P18.72 billion New Centennial Water Source – Kaliwa dam project, the P17 billion Davao Sasa port modernization project, the P4 billion integrated transport system – South Terminal, the operation and maintenance of the Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT-2).

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to issue the Notice of Award to MPIC’s MP CALA Holdings Inc. after it topped the rebidding of Calax with a premium bid of P27.3 billion edging the P22.2 billion submitted by SMC’s San Miguel Holdings Corp.

The Aquino administration has already awarded nine PPP projects since 2010 with a total indicative cost of P136.37 billion.

Source: Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Gov’t Releases Development Plans For Six Airports


THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) has released development plans for the country’s six major airports in a bid to further unlock their potentials for tourism.

Worth an initial P26.1 billion, the plans involve six major airports and are also covered in public-private partnerships (PPP). These facilities are the Puerto Princesa International Airport, Iloilo International Airport, Bacolod-Silay International Airport, Davao International Airport, Laguindingan International Airport, and the New Bohol Airport.

These were revealed by Engineer Rafael S. Lavides, Division Chief of the Air Transport Planning Staff Department of the DoTC, during the hearing of the Congressional Oversight Committee on Tourism in the Senate on Tuesday.

An initial P5.8 billion have been earmarked for initial investments in the Puerto Princesa International airport for the construction of new facilities, which include the development of its 2,600m x 45m runway and the expansion of the passenger terminal building, both of which are slated for completion in 2017.

The phase 1 of the development of the Iloilo International Airport, considered as the 5th busiest airport, will have an investment of P4 billion. The project development includes the expansion of the 13,700 sq. m. passenger terminal building to as much as five times of its original size.

Image Source: Simon Peter Tan

The Bacolod-Silay International Airport is also set to receive P3.6 billion for the phase 1 of the development and expansion of its runway and passenger terminal building; the Davao International Airport, P5.8 billion; Laguindingan International airport, P2.2 billion; and the New Bohol (Panglao) Airport, P4.5 billion.

Davao International Airport

The agency is eyeing to submit these plans to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Investment Coordination Committee on the second quarter of this year, Mr. Lavides said.

For the Clark International Airport, Mr. Lavides said that the construction of a new terminal is under study and plans will be submitted to the NEDA ICC by the first quarter of this year.

Laguindingan Airport

Other key secondary airports, which include the Tuguegarao Airport, Roxas Airport, Iloilo International Airport, Bacolod International Airport, Surigao Airport, Butuan Airport, Ozamis Airport, Zamboanga International Airport, General Santos International Airport, and the Sanga-Sanga airport will also receive a total of P6 billion for their development.

Approximately P20 billion has also been earmarked for expansion and modernization projects for the Laoag International Airport, Naga Airport, Bicol International Airport, Tacloban Airport, Siargao Airport, Caticlan International Airport, Kalibo International Airport, Busuanga Airport and the San Vicente Airport.
Source: Alden M. Monzon, http://www.bworldonline.com

DOTC Rolls Out P116.2-B Bundled Contract For 6 Airports


MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) started yesterday the search for a concessionaire to develop at the same time operate and maintain six provincial airports in a contract worth P116.2 billion.

In an invitation to prequalify and bid, the DOTC through the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) invited prospective bidders to finance, design, construct, operate, and maintain the Bacolod-Silay, Davao, Iloilo, Laguin-dingan, New Bohol (Panglao), and Puerto Princesa airports.

The biggest project is the P40.57-billion contract to improve the services and enhance the airside and landside facilities at the Davao international airport followed by the P30.4-billion contract for the Iloilo international airport.

Other projects are the Bacolod – Silay international airport worth P20.26 billion, the Laguindingan airport, P14.62 billion; Puerto Princesa airport, P5.81 billion; and New Bohol (Panglao) airport, P4.57 billion.

The DOTC said the 30-year concession contract would be awarded through a competitive bidding following the rules and procedures prescribed under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law.

The DOTC is set to apply the two-stage/two-envelope system for soliciting bids under the BOT Law.

The private sector concessionaire for the Bacolod-Silay, Davao, Iloilo, and Laguindingan airports would take over the operations and maintenance; undertake immediate expansion of the passenger terminal buildings, apron, other airside and landside facilities; and any capacity augmentation to cater to future demand throughout the contractual term.

Likewise, the private proponent would also take over the operations and maintenance of the New Bohol (Panglao) and Puerto Princesa airports.

The DOTC pointed out that the traffic at the six provincial airports has either exceeded or is nearing their design capacity levels making the fast and proactive development crucial.

Traffic at the Davao international airport has been growing at an annual rate of 10.56 percent over the past five years and handled 2.79 million passengers last year making it the third busiest airport in the Philippines after the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as well as the Mactan – Cebu international airport.

Volume of passenger at the Iloilo international airport has been growing at an average rate of 11 percent over the past five years to hit 1.82 million last year making it the fifth busiest airport in the country.

The Laguindingan airport is the sixth busiest airport in the country as volume increased averaged 15.1 percent to hit 1.78 million last year followed by the Puerto Princesa with an average increase of 22.8 percent to hit 1.33 million, and the Bacolod-Silay international airport with an average growth of 9.6 percent to reach 1.32 million last year.

The DOTC has tapped a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to put up the New Bohol airport in Panglao Island that would replace the Tagbilaran airport once completed in the middle of 2017.

Source: Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Transport Department Offers ‘Bundled’ Airport O&M Deals This Month


Iloilo International Airport

THE TRANSPORTATION department said it will offer six airport concession contracts in bundled form under the public-private partnership (PPP) program, with bid invitations expected within the month, though the exact combination of airports to be included in the two potential bundles will be determined after consultations.

On the sidelines of a ceremony in Calamba, Laguna marking the launch of train service to the town, Transportation spokesperson Michael Arthur C. Sagcal said the department will publish the invitation to bid for the bundled operations and management (O&M) contracts of six airports: Iloilo, Bacolod, Davao, Puerto Princesa, Laguindingan in Misamis Oriental, and Bohol.

“We will publish an invitation to bid for the bundling (of airports) within December,” Mr. Sagcal said.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board has authorized the rollout of the airport O&M contracts in the following amounts: P30.40 billion for Iloilo Airport; P40.57 billion for Davao Airport; P20.26 billion for Bacolod Airport; P5.23 billion for Puerto Princesa Airport; and P15.92 billion for Laguindingan Airport. In the case of the New Bohol (Panglao) Airport, the contract is a so-called “Enhanced O&M” worth P2.34 billion.

“Along the way, there will be market sounding and consultations, as before the bidding itself there will be a period wherein we hear prospective bidders’ comments on what makes the most sense in the bundling of the airports,” Mr. Sagcal said.

He added that “right now, what’s concrete is that where we’re starting from is possibly two western airports bundled together and three eastern airports.”

Other than the bundling of the airports, the Transportation department is also targeting a rollout of the first seaport PPP deal this month.

Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya told reporters last week that his department is seeking to publish an invitation to bid for the P18.99-billion Davao Sasa Port Modernization project.

“Davao Port is already approved, so we can publish an invitation to bid early next month. It is in our interest to roll it out before the year ends,” Mr. Abaya explained.

The NEDA Board on Oct. 17 approved the rollout of Davao Sasa Port Modernization project.

The winning bidder will be in charge of modernizing the port.

According to the PPP Center Web site, the Sasa project involves modernizing the port’s existing infrastructure and construction of new facilities like an apron, linear quay, container yards, warehouses, as well as expansion of its backup area and the installation of ship-to-shore cranes and rubber-tire gantries. The project will have a 35- to 40-year term.

Eight PPP projects have been awarded so far by the Aquino government since the late-2010 launch of this flagship infrastructure program: the P64.9-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite Extension; the P1.72-billion Automatic Fare Collection System; the P17.52-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport Passenger Terminal Building; the P2.01-billion Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway Link Road; the P15.52-billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway; the P16.28-billion first phase of the PPP for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP); the PSIP’s P3.86-billion second phase; and the P5.69-billion Philippine Orthopedic Center modernization.

Source: Chrisee Jalyssa V. Dela Paz, BusinessWorld Online

GMR-Megawide looking forward to more airport bids


CEBU CITY — Listed builder Megawide Construction Corp. and its partner, Bangalore-based airport operator GMR Infrastructure Ltd., are planning to put in bids for six airport projects, a company official said, as the government studies plans to bundle the projects into a single public-private partnership (PPP) contract.

Two of the six airport projects, the P2.34-billion New Bohol (Panglao) Airport and the P15.92-billion Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro City, have been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board.

The four others — Iloilo, Davao, Bacolod and Puerto Princesa — have yet to be approved by the NEDA Board, PPP Center Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao said in an e-mail to BusinessWorld. Project costs have also to be finalized.

There is “no definite decision on the bundling of airports yet,” Ms. Canilao said.

Manuel Louie B. Ferrer, president of GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), said “it makes sense” for the partnership to bid for the other airport deals because it bagged the first airport PPP contract.

The 25-year PPP contract for the operation and maintenance of the Mactan Cebu International Airport terminal, with an estimated cost of P17.52 billion, was awarded to GMR-Megawide last April despite a protest made by second highest bidder Filinvest-Changi consortium and the filing before the Supreme Court by Sen. Sergio R. Osmeña III of a petition to nullify the contract.

“We have operations already in Cebu and most of the airports are based in the Visayas. So it makes sense that we should participate [in the bidding],” Mr. Ferrer said in an interview on the sidelines of the launch of the new Mactan Cebu International Airport brand last week.

He said GMR would still be the technical partner for any airport-related ventures.

“We have a strong partnership and we believe in how they operate an airport,” he added.

GMR-Megawide, which is 60% owned by Megawide and 40% owned by GMR, is set to take over and start rehabilitating the Mactan Cebu airport terminal on Nov. 1. Construction of a second terminal will start in January.

Mr. Ferrer said a consortium of financial institutions led by BDO Unibank has committed to finance the P17.52-billion project. Financial close is targeted between the end of October and mid-November.

Expansion of the terminal will raise the airport’s annual passenger carrying capacity to 12.5 million. The existing terminal was designed for 4.5 million passengers, but currently serves 7.1 million.

Mr. Ferrer, who is also chief marketing officer of Megawide, said the construction company is also interested in other PPP projects that the government has lined up.

“We’d like to grow our airports. We’d also like to grow our hospital business. The other interesting projects would be water, prison facilities and the ITS (Integrated Transport System) — everything that has construction which is our core strength,” Mr. Ferrer said.

Megawide earlier bagged the PPP contracts for the modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center and the School Infrastructure Project. — Marites S. Villamor

Airport PPP Projects To Be Auctioned Off


MANILA, Philippines–The government is looking at auctioning off several provincial airport public private partnership (PPP) deals later this year while authorizing the hiring of consultants to study the possibility of bidding out the country’s busiest airport, Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao told reporters that the provincial airport  deals are for Laguindingan, Panglao (Bohol), Puerto Princesa, Iloilo, Davao and Bacolod.

Puerto Princesa Airport
Puerto Princesa Airport

These would be a combination of operations and maintenance contracts with expansion components, depending on the need.

“We are looking at one bidding process but several packages,” Canilao said while adding they have yet to finalize how the airport projects would be bundled.

This was moving ahead of a the potential plan to auction out the operations of Naia, an aging gateway that handled about 32 million passengers last year. Naia has been facing congestion issues given its inability to keep up with rising demand for air travel.

The Department of Transportation and Communications is already reviewing a proposal to build a 2.3-kilometer parallel runway to complement the existing 3.4-km primary runway. This will allow Naia to accommodate more takeoff and landing events and ease air traffic congestion, which costs airlines an estimated P7 billion annually on top of delays for passengers. Any privatization of Naia’s operations is expected to draw significant private sector interest, which is why the government is exploring this option.

“The Naia O&M (operation and maintenance) and development plan is a different transaction,” Canilao said.

“DOTC has already asked PDMF support to hire consultants for that,” Canilao said, referring to the Project Development and Monitoring Facility.

PDMF is a revolving pool of funds from the Philippine and Australian governments to enhance investments in PPPs.

Canilao said the government is looking at auctioning off PPP deals recently approved by the National Economic and Development Authority, chaired by President Aquino. Among the more than $1 billion infrastructure deals that would be ready for bidding in the second half of 2014 include the Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project (P24.4 billion), New Centennial Water Supply Source Project (P18.7 billion) and the Light Rail Transit Line 2 operations and maintenance contract.

Source: Miguel R. Camus, PDI

A New Puerto Princesa Airport in 2017


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A world-class international airport at Puerto Princesa, Palawan, is set to open in early 2017 as the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) on Tuesday said that the airport expansion project was finally awarded to a Korean group.

DOTC said in a statement that the $82.9-million design-and-build contract was awarded to Kumho Industrial Co. Ltd.-GS Engineering and Construction joint venture (Kumho-GS), which is set to start work on a new passenger and cargo building, apron, taxiways and navigation facilities by the end of this year.

“Kumho-GS will have around thirty months to complete the project, which means that the DOTC expects the modern airport to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2017,” DOTC said in the statement. Upon completion, the airport will have an annual capacity of about 2 million passengers.

In 2013, it counted 1.34 million passengers, or way beyond the passenger terminal building’s current estimated capacity of only 350,000 passengers an annum, the statement showed.

The project is largely funded through a Korean Export Import Bank (KEXIM) loan amounting to $71.6 million. The loan is payable in 40 years, inclusive of a 10-and-a-half-year grace period, at an interest rate of 0.1 percent a year. Bidding for the project was limited to South Korean firms, the statement showed.

“The ecotourism showcase that is Puerto Princesa, as well as the rest of Palawan, will soon have a modern, world-class airport, which we can be as proud of as the destination itself. With beaches and other natural wonders attracting throngs of visitors from all over the globe, it will finally have a gateway that is befitting of its stature,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said in a statement.

“Apart from boosting our tourism sector, this project will also generate jobs, particularly in the infrastructure sector. Overall, the estimate is up to 1,400 total new jobs during construction alone,” Abaya added.

In compliance with its engineering, procurement and construction contract, Kumho-GS will begin with the design component by the third quarter of this year. While the joint venture is preparing the airport’s detailed engineering design, it will also begin mobilizing its equipment and securing various project permits.

As a tied official development   assistance (ODA) loan, the bidding process was governed by the Guidelines for Procurement of Korea’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) and decisions were concurred with by KEXIM.

Earlier this year, the DOTC awarded the contract for another major international airport, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, under the Aquino administration’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. “It is also expected to boost tourism and economic activity, not only in the Visayas region, but for the country as a whole,” the transportation department said in the statement.

Source: Miguel R. Camus, PDI

ANALYSIS: Philippines On The Verge Of Tourism Boom After Aviation Upgrades


MNL
Central Business District of Makati City, Philippines

MANILA – With local carriers cleared to expand in the US and Europe, the Philippines is on the verge of a tourism boom.

After more than six years in Category 2, the Federal Aviation Administration earlier today announced the Philippines’ return to Category 1 safety rating, allowing local airlines to mount more flights to the US.

Hours later, the European Union delivered the day’s second good news: Cebu Pacific can now fly to Europe.

Brussels’ decision comes months after it allowed Philippine Airlines (PAL) to resume flights following a three-year absence, and almost a year since the International Civil Aviation Office (ICAO) lifted the significant safety concerns on the Philippines’ main international gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

CEB

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. told Interaksyon.com that the latest two certifications are going to have a “massive” impact on Philippine tourism.

“Connectivity and accessibility are crucial to growth. We are ecstatic with these developments.  We are back on track,” Jimenez said.

He said the Department of Tourism (DOT) may revise its targets because of the upgrades even though there’s “not enough data yet to change projections.”

“We shall see how travel operators react and then we will know,” he said.

To be sure, the government hasn’t been waiting on the sidelines for tourists to come.

The DOT has been promoting the country through a campaign dubbed as “More Fun in the Philippines,” which has won international plaudits and allowed tourist arrivals to hit fresh records.

Last year, the country attracted 4.68 million foreign visitors, up 9.56 percent year-on-year.

For this year and next, the government is aiming for 6.8 million and 8.2 million, respectively, so that by the end of President Benigno Aquino III’s term,  arrivals would have reached 10 million, with receipts of P455 billion.

The top visitors so far have been the Koreans, Chinese and Japanese – the result of the Philippines’ efforts to liberalize the country’s airspace, allowing local carriers to fly across Asia and Asian airlines to enter more points in the country.

airplane

Optimal connectivity

The aviation safety upgrades from the US and EU would further open these markets. Data from DOT show that visitors from the US reached 674,564 in 2013, up by 3.36 percent year-on-year, while those from European markets like the United Kingdom and Germany reaching 122,759 and 70,949 arrivals, respectively.

Rosanna Tuason-Fores, president of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines, said the country’s Category 1 status and the removal from the EU blacklist would provide more optimal connectivity in the trans-Pacific region.

“This will also allow us to be competitive as a route not just in the Philippines but also in the whole Asian region. We believe that with this new development, there will be a marked increase in the number of tourist arrivals both from the USA and Europe,” Fores said.

Carmelo Arcilla, executive director of Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said the FAA upgrade and the removal from the EU blacklist would benefit the riding public, who will have improved options for air travel that are world class.

“It will also be a boost to our tourism efforts, because it will open up foreign markets for new and expanded services by Philippine carriers, not only in terms of direct services, but also for other cooperative arrangements like code sharing and interline,” Arcilla said.

Apart from ushering a new era in its trans-Pacific service, the upgrade will also allow PAL to explore possible airline partnerships with foreign carriers in order to maximize its growth potential, said the flag carrier’s president Ramon S. Ang.

“This latest development allows us to deploy our modern and fuel-efficient Boeing 777-300ER fleet to the US, and enables us to explore new destination opportunities in one of the Philippines’ largest passenger markets,” Ang said.

AirAsia-Philippines1

“Back on global aviation map”

Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the upgrade will have significant economic dividends, as carriers mount more direct flights, boosting not only tourism, but also trade and business relations between the Philippines on the one hand, and the US and the EU on the other.

For example, “Philippine air carriers can now open more flights to the United States and have additional routes such as flying to the East Coast,” he added.

Henry J. Schumacher, vice president for external affairs of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, agreed.

“Tourism will definitely benefit creating more direct connections. Business travel will also gain with more direct flights – that will lead to more business activities between Europe and the Philippines,” Schumacher said.

“This is a great day for Philippine tourism,” he added.

Ang said the FAA upgrade means the Philippines has joined an elite group of only 79 countries that meet the US safety standards.

“This country is definitely back on the global aviation map,” he said.

Following the re-classification, the flag carrier would deploy six Boeing 777-300ERs, acquired at a cost of $1.2 billion, for US flights within a month’s time.

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More infrastructure needed 

But while increasing connectivity is important, the Philippines still has its work cut out in terms of improving infrastructure.

“Building better airports for those flights to arrive at and many other improvements are needed before the full potential of tourism in the Philippines is realized,” John D. Forbes, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) senior adviser told Interaksyon.com.

He said “latent demand” stands at 12 million, thus “continued improvements in policies, infrastructure, and promotion are essential.”

Tourism Congress of the Philippines’ Fores agrees: “Infrastructure development must be accelerated.”

“More airports must be made available to international flights; more hotel rooms must be on hand to accommodate the increase in tourist arrivals,” she added.

To date, the NAIA has already exceeded it maximum annual capacity of 30 million passengers.

The government is well aware of this challenge.

It is looking at building a new international airport either in Sangley Point or Laguna de Bay. PAL also plans to put up a $10 billion airport near Manila – albeit the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said it won’t entertain unsolicited proposals.

Big-ticket projects are being pursued under the Aquino administration’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme, but this has been slow to take off amid technical and other difficulties.

The government last week awarded its largest PPP airport project to date: the P17.2-billion upgrade of the Mactan Cebu International Airport, which next to NAIA is the country’s second biggest international gateway.

Already delayed, the project is now faced with a legal challenge, after a senator asked the Supreme Court to void its award. Whether the High Tribunal would oblige, remains to be seen.

Source: Darwin G. Amojelar, InterAksyon.com

After Mactan-Cebu, Megawide Eyes 6 More Airport Projects


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The future of Mactan-Cebu International Airport

Cebu City , Philippines – Megawide Construction Corp., one of the most active local companies in the public-private partnership (PPP) scene, is joining more auctions for airport rehabilitation and operations.

The consortium of Megawide and Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure Ltd. will continue their partnership that recently bagged the P17.5-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) deal, executives said.

Megawide chief financial officer Oliver Tan said the company is planning to join the bidding for six more airport PPP projects this year.

“The Philippines is the fastest growing economy in this region. Tourism is a growing business and considering that, it generally means that airport development is good in the Philippines,” said Manish Khalghatgi, vice president for corporate communications of GMR.

Khalghatgi said Megawide-GMR tandem is ready for more airport projects particularly in Visayas and Mindanao.

The government plans to roll out more PPP projects this year including the P15.92-billion operation and maintenance (O&M) of the Laguindingan airport, the P2.34-billion enhanced O&M of the new Bohol airport. It also listed the O&M of the Puerto Princesa, Iloilo, Davao, and Bacolod airports as PPP projects.

The Megawide-GMR consortium last week received the formal award of the P17.5-billion MCIA project, the largest PPP offered to date.

Aside from airport projects, Megawide is also interested to be the contractor for the winning bidder of the P65-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 elevated railway extension to Cavite province, Tan said. Megawide is also preparing to join the bidding for the P35.6-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway project.

So far, Megawide has bagged four PPP projects: the P5.7-billion new Philippine Orthopedic Center, the MCIA, the PPP School Infrastructure Project Phase One (PSIP-1) and PSIP-2.

Despite numerous projects on its plate, Megawide is still prepared to pursue more infrastructure ventures.

“The airport is a collaboration with GRM and Megawide. We will have an entirely separate organizational structure,” Tan said.

Megawide also has manageable debt levels as available cash is larger than existing debts, Tan said.

For its part, GMR has the skill and the expertise for end-to-end airport projects that deal with financing, rehabilitation and operation, Khalghatgi said.

Megawide is one of the top contractors in the Philippines while GMR is the world’s third largest private airport developer in terms of passenger traffic.

Source: Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star)