By Emmie V. Abadilla
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board last Friday (November 29, 2019) approved the Aboitiz Group’s ₱3.8-billion unsolicited proposal for the operations and maintenance (O&M) of Bohol-Panglao International Airport (BPIA) after the proponent made the required revisions.
The concession period for the project covers 25 years. Under the first phase, from 2020 to 2021, the Aboitiz Group proposed to enhance and install internal fit-outs of existing BPIA facilities. The second phase, from 2026 to 2027, will optimize and reconfigure the facility as dictated by traffic demand.
Under the unsolicited proposal submitted to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Aboitiz Group will serve as the concessionaire, through its infrastructure arm, Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. (AIC).
On November 6, the NEDA’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) approved the O&M proposal.
However, it will still be subjected to a Swiss challenge, in accordance with procedures. Other firms may challenge AIC’s bid. AIC may then match the best bid from challengers.
The Panglao-based international airport is also known as the “Green Gateway to the World” for harnessing green technology and environmentally sustainable structures.
The green-lighting of the BPIA O&M project will boost regional economic growth and tourism in Bohol, noted DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary and Infrastructure Cluster head Mark Villar also approved of the NEDA Board’s decision to give the BPIA O&M proposal the go-ahead.
“This is a very positive development as far as fast-tracking our infrastructure backlogs is concerned,” he stated.
“The BPIA project will speed up the realization of the transportation roadmap as envisioned by the DOTr,” Secretary Vince Dizon, Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects, concluded.