PPP: Airport projects under PPP draw big groups

Five groups have bought bid documents for the development and O&M of five regional airports under the public-private partnership (PPP) program.

The groups are the consortium of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) and JG Summit Holdings, Inc.; San Miguel Corp.; Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.; the group of Megawide Construction Corp. and Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure Ltd.; and air cargo warehousing firm Philippine Skylanders, Inc.

If qualified, the groups can bid for one or both bundles of the five regional airports, depending on their appetite, said PPP Center Executive Director Cosette Canilao.

The five regional airports for auction are grouped into two bundles, the first being Bacolod-Silay Airport (P20.26 billion) and Iloilo Airport (P30.40 billion) and the second being the New Bohol (Panglao) Airport (P2.34 billion), Laguindingan Airport (P14.62 billion) and Davao Airport (P40.57 billion).

Most of the groups that bought bid documents for these regional airport deals--except Philippine Skylanders--also participated in the auction of the P34.44-billion deal to expand and operate the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal that was awarded in April last year to the group of Megawide and GMR Infrastructure.

In a statement, Ms. Canilao said: “Investors interested in these regional airports can still buy bid documents until May 17, as the deadline of submission of pre-qualification documents is on May 18.”

“The shortlist of qualified bidders will also be released in May; while we target a June bid submission and award the airport projects in March 2016,” she added.

Meanwhile, Megawide Corporate Information Officer Manuel Louie B. Ferrer said his group was interested in both bundles.

“I think all five regional airports are strategic to us because of their combined annual passenger volume. In return, we can develop those airports and improve traffic control and management,” he said.

The government has set a two-stage bidding process for the regional airport auction, which means qualification documents are submitted separately from the financial and technical proposals, according to an invitation to pre-qualify and bid published in newspapers last December. In that invitation, the government asked interested parties to submit offers to finance, design, build, operate and maintain the facilities for 30 years. 

According to Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Undersecretary for Planning, Rene K. Limcaoco, “winning the bundled airports won’t disqualify the concessionaires from future airport bids.”