NAIA Consortium submits updated proposal ahead of April 30 deadline

MANILA, Philippines – A consortium made up of 7 of the country's top conglomerates submitted an updated proposal to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), ahead of the April 30 deadline set by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

A source told Rappler that the NAIA Consortium submitted copies of the proposal to the DOTr and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) on Tuesday, April 23, and Wednesday morning, April 24.

Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Libiran confirmed to Rappler that the DOTr received the copy on Tuesday at 7:30 pm.

On Monday, April 22, Aboitiz InfraCapital chief executive officer Cosette Canilao had said that the proposal would be submitted within this week.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier set the April 30 deadline as talks have already become "lengthy."

A major part of the back and forth between the NAIA Consortium and the DOTr was about the material adverse government action (MAGA) as specified in the proposal.

A MAGA gives assurances to private concessionaires that there are remedies available for them, if and when the government changes its position after contracts are implemented.

In September 2018, the DOTr awarded the original proponent status to the NAIA Consortium for the rehabilitation, development, operations, and maintenance of the country's main airport.

The consortium originally proposed a concession period of 35 years, with a total project cost of P350 billion. This has since been brought down to a P102-billion project spanning 15 years.

If approved by the DOTr and then the National Economic and Development Authority Board, the unsolicited proposal would undergo a Swiss challenge. With this procedure, the government invites private groups to make competing offers, while giving the original proponent the right to match them.

The 7 partners in the NAIA Consortium are Aboitiz InfraCapital Incorporated, AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Alliance Global Group Incorporated, Asia's Emerging Dragon Corporation, Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings Incorporated, and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation.

NAIA, designed to handle only 31 million passengers, is expected to accommodate 47 million in 2019. It accommodated a total of 42 million passengers in 2017, according to the MIAA. – Rappler.com