By EMMIE V. ABADILLA
Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is “getting off the pot” of the ₱102-billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) rehabilitation project of the NAIA Consortium composed of the country’s top conglomerates, MPIC chairman Manuel Pangilinan told reporters last Thursday eve.
However, with issues, such as real property taxes (RPT) and the retrenchment of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) workers still unresolved with the government, the consortium is a “tough one for us to join. We are thinking about (pulling out),” he confirmed.“It’s unfair for us to get the consortium to wait for us.”
The NAIA “super” consortium of seven is composed of MPIC, Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group, Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development Corp. and JG Summit Holdings, Inc.
The RPT is one of the vital issues which has to be addressed because of its impact on the consortium’s expected returns for NAIA’s rehabilitation, MPIC president and chief executive officer Jose Ma. Lim earlier noted.
The consortium has to negotiate with the local government units (LGUs) who will collect the RPTs.
Already, the National Economic and Development Authority board has given the NAIA consortium the go-ahead to proceed with the project, subject to a Swiss challenge.
Under the Swiss Challenge, other proponents can match the bid of the consortium.
That is, after MIAA and the NAIA Consortium draw up the terms and conditions of the concession agreement. MIAA will then submit this to the NEDA board. The Office of the Solicitor General and the Department of Finance should submit comments on the draft concession agreement within 10 days.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has given the NAIA consortium until the middle of this month to finalize its deal with the government. Otherwise, the latter will terminate the agreement and open up the project to other proponents.