DOTr finalizing terms for NAIA privatization

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 10) — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday said it is finalizing the proposed terms of reference (TOR) for the privatization of the country's main gateway as it noted the need for more airports.

The agency is working with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with hopes of releasing the TOR by June.

"We're now in the process of checking the completion of requirements that were submitted to us," said Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista.

Plans for NAIA come on the heels of an unsolicited proposal from a consortium that offered to rehabilitate and operate the aging facility.

The ₱100-billion unsolicited proposal came from the Manila International Airport Consortium. It groups Alliance Global Group Inc., Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Infracorp Development, Inc., Filinvest Development Corporation and JG Summit Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, with US-based Global Infrastructure Partners.

Bautista said the Bulacan International Airport, currently under development, is expected to serve passengers by 2024 or 2025, while authorities are finalizing the design for the Sangley Point International Airport in Cavite.

"[The] Manila International Airport [Authority] is very congested," Bautista said. "Initial [projections] showed by 2040, we will need around 100 million capacity. Right now, MIAA will have 40 to 45 million. So, we really need those additional airports."

Issues at NAIA have been compounded by power disruptions at the air traffic management that has shut down the county’s air space on days with heavy passenger traffic: Jan. 1 (News Year’s Day) and May 1 (Labor Day). 

Business tycoon Manuel "Manny" Pangilinan has offered to shoulder the electrical audit for NAIA, according to the DOTr.

On the suspension of the MIAA head

Meanwhile, questions are being raised over the timing of the suspension of MIAA General Manager Cesar Chiong over allegations of grave abuse of authority and grave misconduct.

Bautista said Chiong was neither given the chance to explain nor was he made aware that a case was filed against him.

"Nag-file lang (siya) ng motion for reconsideration [He just filed a motion for reconsideration]," he said.

Chiong was placed under preventive suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman for up to six months for reassigning some 285 MIAA employees.