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Megawide stripped of original proponent status in NAIA rehab

  • Manila International Airport Authority revoked the original proponent status (OPS) of Megawide Construction Corp. and India-based GMR Infrastructure Ltd. in the P109-billion unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate Ninoy Aquino International Airport
  • Megawide will file a motion for reconsideration, noting the consortium has complied with all requirements for the unsolicited proposal

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has revoked the original proponent status (OPS) of the consortium of Megawide Construction Corp. and India-based GMR Infrastructure Ltd. in the P109-billion unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

In a letter to consortium representative Manuel Ferrer dated December 15, MIAA corporate secretary Leonides Cruz informed the consortium of the MIAA Board’s decision, arrived at in a meeting on December 4 and subsequently affirmed in a meeting on December 15.

The letter did not mention the reason for the revocation.

In a statement, Megawide said they will immediately file a motion for reconsideration and noted that the consortium “has complied with all requirements and interpretations of the government for its unsolicited proposal.”

“There are no justifiable grounds to deny the Filipino people a transformed NAIA,” Megawide said.

The consortium submitted the unsolicited proposal in 2018 and was granted the OPS last July after the government terminated negotiations with NAIA Consortium, which had also proposed to rehabilitate the country’s main gateway.

However, last August, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the consortium still needed to address issues on its financial capacity and joint liability for the project to proceed.

The National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) had also noted a number of pending compliance with certain requirements of the Build-Operate-Transfer Law.

Last November 11, Megawide said GMR agreed to a 40% equity participation in the project. Megawide said this would ensure “solid financial capability and delivering unparalleled global experience in airport design, construction and operations.”

READ: Megawide-GMR tandem completes P109B NAIA project requirements

Later in November, the consortium submitted the last additional requirements for its unsolicited proposal, which included its statement of joint solidary liability as required by NEDA.

Megawide in the letter said that under their proposal, they would not only rehabilitate NAIA’s facilities but would also “uplift and upskill the livelihoods of thousands of airport employees to make them experts in their fields.” It said they would also “break the chains of backwardness, corruption and inefficiency that have held back our main gateway’s progress and that of our nation.”

Megawide noted it had “proven its real-world airport experience and success.”

“Megawide strongly believes in President [Rodrigo] Duterte’s vision to deliver better infrastructure for all Filipinos. The company also believes that now, as our people suffer from the dual impact of the public health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is the time for responsible, exemplary Filipino companies to step up, contribute, and fight our nation’s economic future,” it said.

“Our company and people, our partners and stakeholders in airports and other vital infrastructure, remain fully committed to our mission. No chains, no backward thinking, no entities with vested interests can truly bring down progress and the spirit of a first world Philippines.”

The tandem of Megawide-GMR, through GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation, won a 25-year concession in 2014 to manage and develop MCIA. They recently celebrated their sixth year of operating the Cebu gateway.

The tandem also won in 2017 the contract to engineer, procure, and construct the Clark International Airport (CRK) expansion project. Last September, the second passenger terminal building of CRK was completed, ahead of its October target completion and allowing the start of operations by January next year as planned.

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