Megawide plans counter offer for NAIA rehab...

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Megawide, the listed engineering and infrastructure developer, may go against the country’s biggest conglomerates by submitting a counter offer for the rehabilitation and redevelopment of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

This comes after The STAR reported that the NAIA Consortium is now back to zero in its plan to redevelop the country’s main gateway with the government insisting that the group follows the terms and language of the Clark International Airport’s operation and maintenance contract.

Megawide, the listed construction and infrastructure company, which operates the Mactan-Cebu International Airport with Bangalore-based GMR, is studying the possibility of participating in a Swiss challenge for the NAIA proposal once the final terms are out.

“We have not decided yet but we are studying it,” Mactan-Cebu International Airport president Louie Ferrer told The STAR.

Ferrer said his group is just waiting for the final terms of the contract for NAIA.

However, he clarified that his group is willing to support the NAIA Consortium or any other group that will win other airport contracts with the end goal of moving the country forward. “If others can do it better, we will support that,” he said.

At the same time, he also trumpeted the GMR-Megawide’s track record in running the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

The Department of Transportation returned the proposal of the NAIA Consortium as DOTr wants it to follow the Clark template, Secretary Arthur Tugade told The STAR.

He said the standards set by the Department of Transportation  for the successful bidding of Clark International Airport last December should be followed.

“If they (the consortium) don’t like the Clark template, we cannot move forward,” Tugade said on the sidelines of the pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Economic and Infrastructure Forum last week.

Members of the NAIA Consortium, however, are not comfortable with the Clark template, saying that it is a risky contract.

The contentious issue in the Clark contract is the condition that would trigger compensation or support for the private concessionaire, otherwise known as a material adverse government action (Maga).

Under the Clark contract, proponents will only be compensated for adverse government action from the Executive branch and not any change in future laws. They must also remove the provision stating that adverse government action could be considered force majeure.

The seven consortium members are Ayala Corp., Aboitiz Group’s Aboitiz InfraCapital Incorporated,  Andrew Tan’s Alliance Global Group Inc., Lucio Tan-led Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., the Gotianuns’ Filinvest Development Corp., the Gokongwei Group’s JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

With the NAIA Consortium back to zero, the conglomerates and the government would have to run the entire process again which could take another year.

The awarding of the contract, if it ever pushes through, may only happen at the end of Duterte administration or in 2022, industry source said.



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