NEDA approves 3 infra projects, including NAIA rehab

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NEDA approves 3 infra projects, including NAIA rehab
Ninoy Aquino International Airport photo from the Manila International Airport Authority.
  • The National Economic and Development Authority Board has approved three infrastructure projects, including the solicited Ninoy Aquino International Airport public-private partnership project and the unsolicited Laguindingan International Airport Project
  • The third project, the P7.48-billion second phase of the Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project, was also approved at the NEDA Board’s meeting on July 19
  • The P170.6-billion proposed NAIA PPP project includes the rehabilitation, expansion, and operation of the country’s main gateway
  • The P12.75-billion unsolicited proposal for Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental involves upgrading, expanding, operating, and maintaining the gateway
  • The board also confirmed the proposed adoption of a national policy on infrastructure sector master plans

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board has approved three infrastructure projects, including the solicited Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) public-private partnership (PPP) project and the unsolicited Laguindingan International Airport Project.

The second phase of the Samar Pacific Coastal Road (SPCR) Project was also approved at the NEDA Board meeting on July 19, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in a press briefing on the same day.

The proposed P170.6-billion solicited NAIA PPP project covers the rehabilitation, expansion, and operation of the country’s main gateway to address longstanding issues such as inadequate capacity of passenger terminal buildings and restricted aircraft movement, Balisacan said.

The approval of the project means the government is no longer entertaining the P267-billion unsolicited proposal by the Manila International Airport Consortium (MIAC). MIAC is composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc.; AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp.; Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp.; Alliance Global – Infracorp Development, Inc.; Filinvest Development Corp.; JG Summit Infrastructure Holdings Corp.; and US-based Global Infrastructure Partners.

“The decision of the NEDA Board to go for a solicited proposal contract means that the unsolicited track is already closed,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

Transportation undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Roberto Lim also told PortCalls in a text message that with the NEDA Board approval, “we will only review the solicited proposal.”

The solicited project, under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Manila International Airport Authority, aims to nearly double the current annual capacity of NAIA from 35 million to at least 62 million passengers, and increase air traffic movement from 40 to 48 per hour.

Balisacan said the project is expected to improve overall passenger experience and service quality to prevent long queues, lengthy waiting time, and other passenger inconveniences.

He said the NEDA Board expects to have a winning bidder within the year and start the project by next year.

DOTr’s Lim earlier said awarding of concession for the solicited NAIA project may possibly be done by the first quarter of 2024.

DOTr and MIAA submitted last June 2 to NEDA its joint proposal to modernize NAIA.

Lim said DOTr submitted an outline of the terms of reference for the bidding of the private concessionaire that will modernize and operate NAIA. The private concessionaire will be granted a 15-year concession period to invest in modern air traffic control equipment, rehabilitate runways and taxiways, and improve existing terminal facilities.

Samar Pacific Coastal Road

The NEDA Board also approved the P7.48-billion SPCR Phase 2 Project that involves the construction of two marine bridges – Laoang 2 Bridge and Calomotan Bridge – and improvement of existing roads between Laoang Island and mainland Samar Island with a total length of 15 kilometers.

On July 14, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) inaugurated the P1.126-billion first phase of the SPCR Project, which was funded by the South Korean government through the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM).

Public Works Secretary Manuel Bonoan said during the inauguration that the second phase of the project is now under process for possible continued financing by KEXIM.

Laguindingan Airport

The NEDA Board likewise approved the P12.75-billion unsolicited proposal to upgrade, expand, operate, and maintain Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental.

The project, under DOTr and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, aims to integrate the concepts of green and connected airports into its design and operations, and use digital technologies to enhance passenger experience.

Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. submitted a P148-billion unsolicited proposal in 2018 to take over four airports, including Laguindingan. It was granted the original proponent status for Laguindingan Airport in 2019.

Aside from the three projects, Balisacan said the NEDA Board confirmed the proposed adoption of a national policy on infrastructure sector master plans.

He said the policy aims to harmonize and rationalize the formulation of master plans for the infrastructure sector across the government “to ensure that the plans are coordinated, synergistic, responsive to emerging issues, and consistent with the sector’s priority development, challenges or strategies.”

Following the confirmation, Balisacan said an executive order will be issued to strengthen the policy’s implementation nationwide.