NAIA-1 rehab, facelift to cost P1.64-B

MANILA, Philippines - After being touted as one of the world's worst airports, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (NAIA-1) was finally granted the funds to undertake its much-needed facelift.

Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said in statement released on Thursday, September 13, that the project will cost P1.64 billion, higher than the P1.16 billion declared by former Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Mar Roxas last January.

Roxas then said that the NAIA-1 works will have "partial completion by December."

This NAIA-1 rehabilitation project ran into some controversy in December 2011. The DOTC had a face off with world renowned Filipino designers Kenneth Cobunpue, Royal Pineda, and Budji Layug for the project. 

"The release will support the improvement or creation of more gateways into the Philippines, given the Administration’s campaign to cement our position as a prime tourist and investment hub," Abad said.

Timing is key

For travelers passing through NAIA-1, the rehabilitation of the airport facility will mean more noise in the next few months but a more convenient airport after the rehabilitation's completion.

The DBM said the rehabilitation, which has been deferred for several years, will include the restoration of the airport's structural integrity and the undertaking of much-needed maintenance activities.

Other activities included in the project is the immediate repair of NAIA 1's mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems, as well as the retrofitting of the overall structure.

"The projects identified under the fund release will directly support this initiative, primarily through the much-needed rehabilitation and development of key airports across the country," Abad said.

The release of the funds for the projects also came on the heels of the appointment of Cavite Representative Jun Abaya as Secretary of the DOTC. The new leadership at the agency followed the appointment of Mar Roxas to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) after Sec. Jesse Robredo’s passing last month.

Abad welcomed the appointment of Abaya to the Cabinet and said that his appointment will be a boost to the government's PPP Initiative. The Aquino administration has anchored its efforts to address the country's infrastructure constraints on the PPPs.

Airports and project evaluation

Abad said the P1.64 billion funds for the NAIA-1 was part of the P4.6 billion released for other airport projects.

Other projects that received funding were

Based on the the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), government projects worth P500 million and above require the evaluation and approval of the Inter-agency Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) and the NEDA Board before bidding and implementation.

The ICC is the inter-agency committee in charge of advising the President, who is the highest official of Neda, on the economic viability of soft- and hard-infrastructure projects being undertaken by the government.

Once evaluated by the ICC, projects are approved by the Neda Board, the highest policymaking body in the Neda, which is chaired by the President. Only then can projects be bidded out or implemented. -