CEBU

Neda approves unsolicited proposal for Panglao Airport

THE unsolicited proposal by the Aboitiz Group for the operations and maintenance (O&M) of Bohol-Panglao International Airport (BPIA) was given the green light on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board.

The project, with an estimated capital expenditure of P3.8 billion, involves the operations and maintenance of the BPIA, including initial enhancement and installation of internal fit-outs of existing facilities (Phase 1 from 2020 to 2021), as well as optimization and reconfiguration as dictated by traffic demand (Phase 2 from 2026 to 2027).

In a statement, the Neda Board, chaired by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, gave the green light after earlier revisions on the proposal were made.

On Nov. 6, the Neda’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) approved the unsolicited proposal for the airport’s O&M under a 25-year concession period.

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).

As is procedure, the project, Neda said, will still be subjected to a Swiss challenge wherein 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.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the green-lighting of the BPIA O&M project will aid in boosting regional economic growth and tourism in Bohol, in consonance with the thrust of the “Build, Build, Build” Program of the Duterte administration.

“It is our hope that this new airport will help propel development in Bohol and the rest of the Visayas. Matagal na nilang pinapangarap ito. Ngayon ay mas nalalapit tayo sa pagbibigay katuparan sa pangarap na ‘yon,” Tugade said.

Department of Public Works and Highways 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. This is for our kababayans in Visayas. This is for the entire Filipino people,” Villar said. (PR)


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