Top PH CEOs push P267-B Naia rehab proposal
MANILA -The leaders of some of the country’s top conglomerates, along with their New York-based partner Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), came out in full force on Monday to pitch their P267-billion unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), while reiterating the need for 25 years to realize the big-ticket project.
During a press briefing in Makati City, the Manila International Airport Consortium (MIAC) shared its strategy—to be implemented in phases—to expand the capacity of the congested airport, ultimately increasing it to 70 million passengers annually from the current 31 million.
At the briefing to represent the conglomerates in the consortium were Ayala Corp. president Cezar Consing, Aboitiz InfraCapital president Cosette Canilao, JG Summit Holdings treasurer Bach Johann Sebastian, LT Group chief financial Jose Gabriel Olives, Filinvest Development Corp. president and CEO Josephine Gotianun-Yap and Alliance Global-InfraCorp Development Inc. chair and president Kevin Tan.
GIP vice chair Jim Yong Kim, a former World Bank president, stressed the need for Naia to undergo an extensive rehabilitation so the Philippines can take advantage of the resurgence in tourism activities.
“The Philippines, with the most beautiful beaches, the warmest hospitality and a deep pool of well-trained English-speaking talent cannot be allowed to fall behind because of an underperforming gateway airport,” he said.
Of the P267-billion proposal, about P210 billion is allocated for capital investments in airfield and runway upgrades, terminal expansion, new cargo facilities and taxiway extension.
The remaining P57 billion is the upfront concession payment to the government, which is touted to be the “largest ever” payment for a transportation public-private partnership project in the country.
Given the massive investment required to complete the project as envisioned, a minimum contract period of 25 years is being sought.
“The amount the consortium will be investing will only work under a 25-year concession period so that we can have an airport that we can be proud of,” stressed Gotianun-Yap.
But based on the P141-billion solicited proposal by the government, the chosen private concessionaire will only be given 15 years to rehabilitate Naia and recoup investments. The proposal is under review by the National Economic and Development Authority.
“A 15-year concession period will not really do much in terms of transforming the airport. We’ve already studied that before,” said Tan on the sidelines of the event.
Asked if MIAC was open to revising their bid, if ever, Tan said: “Right now, it is 25.” INQ
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