Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said yesterday two issues remain unresolved despite the consortium’s submission of its revised concession agreement last week.
STAR/File
Key issues delay NAIA rehab plan
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - February 25, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The consortium of seven conglomerates need to address key issues in order to advance its P102-billion proposal to redevelop the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) .

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said yesterday two issues remain unresolved despite the consortium’s submission of its revised concession agreement last week.

Ruben Reinoso, transportation undersecretary for planning, said  these include the fate of employees of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the “people mover” system to link the passenger terminals.

“But based on the review of MIAA, it was stated that their commitment is only 180 days. That is not part of what we talked about because we tell the employees they won‘t lose their jobs as long as you want to be absorbed,” he said.

Reinoso said MIAA expressed reservations over the consortium’s plan to put in place a bus rapid system due to safety and security concerns on the tarmac.

“So we need clarifications on these issues. We will clarify with them the government’s concerns, particularly the primary grantor which is the MIAA,” he said.

Reinoso said presidential adviser for flagship programs and projects Vince Dizon, who is leading the government’s negotiation for the project, is set to convene a meeting in the coming weeks to resolve the pending issues.

He said Tugade wants all the remaining issues resolved before the end of next month in order for the Swiss challenge process to finally start.

On the issue of the real property tax (RPT), Reinoso said the consortium has already agreed that the amount should not be deducted from its payment to the government.

However, he said it is up to the consortium to negotiate with the local government unit (LGU) involved since it is the LGU that collects the said taxes.

Metro Pacific  Investments Corp. (MPIC) president and chief executive officer Jose Ma. Lim said the RPT would have a significant impact on the consortium’s expected returns for the massive rehabilitation project.

Once the terms and conditions for the project are agreed upon, MIAA will have to submit the results of the negotiation to the NEDA board and the negotiated draft concession agreement to the Office of the Solicitor General and the Department of Finance for comments within 10 days from receipt of the draft concession agreement.

The consortium’s unsolicited proposal secured the approval of the NEDA board chaired by President Duterte last November.

Members of the consortium are MPIC, Aboitiz InfraCapital, AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development Corp., and JG Summit Holdings Inc.

The consortium seeks to rehabilitate the country’s main international gateway in three phases from 2021 to 2024 in a bid to alleviate the worsening air traffic congestion at the NAIA.

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