Gov't to rehabilitate NAIA on its own if talks with PH firms break down

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 10) — The government may just take up the cudgels in rehabilitating the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) if talks with seven companies that have come together and proposed to do work on the country's main gateway break down.

"MIAA (Manila International Airport Authority) is a revenue-generating agency. So we'll do it, probably," MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal told CNN Philippines when asked about Transporation Secretary Arthur Tugade's ultimatum for the NAIA Consortium.

Tugade has given the consortium until April 30 to wrap up talks on the rehabilitation of NAIA, or else negotiations will end.

According to the Commission on Audit, the MIAA's net profit in 2017 was at around ₱3.70 billion, a decrease of approximately ₱7.5 billion from 2016. The NAIA Consortium is proposing to rehabilitate NAIA for ₱102 billion in 15 years.

Talks between the government and the consortium are ongoing, but these have dragged on months after the consortium was awarded original proponent status by the government.

The proposal will undergo a Swiss challenge once approved by the Transportation department and the National Economic and Development Authority Board. A Swiss challenge allows private firms to send proposals to the government, which the original proponent can match.

Monreal said the consortium wants "guarantees" from the government, which it does not want to give.

The consortium is composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., Ayala Corporation's AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Alliance Global Group Inc., AEDC, Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation.

It plans to expand the airport's terminals to increase its annual capacity from just 31 million to 65 million, build an additional runway, taxiways, passenger terminals and other support infrastructure.

This is being challenged by Megawide Construction Corp. and its partner, Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure Limited, which has come up with a proposal to rehabilitate the airport for ₱155.9 billion and an 18-year concession period.