The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board has approved the Aboitiz Group’s unsolicited proposal for the operations and maintenance of the Bohol Panglao International Airport.
With the board’s approval, the P3.8-billion project will be subjected in the next 60 days to a Swiss challenge, a procurement method wherein other interested bidders may challenge the proposal of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (AIC), infrastructure arm of the Aboitiz Group.
AIC, which was granted Original Proponent Status for the project, may then match the best bid from challengers.
The project, with an estimated capital expenditure of P3.8 billion, involves the operations and maintenance of the Panglao airport under a 25-year concession period.
It will involve 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).
NEDA greenlighted the project during its meeting on November 29, 2019, less than a month after the NEDA’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) approved the same proposal on November 6, 2019.
AIC chief operating officer Cosette V. Canilao earlier expressed hope that they would be awarded the contract and be able to take over operations of the new airport within the first quarter of 2020
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AIC earlier tapped Dublin Airport operator daa International for the implementation of the Panglao airport project as well as the Laguindingan airport upgrading project in Misamis Oriental in Mindanao.
The Panglao airport, which was inaugurated on November 27, 2018, has a capacity of 2.0 million passengers annually, more than double the 800,000 capacity of the old Tagbilaran Airport.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the approval of the project will boost regional economic growth and tourism in Bohol.
“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 in a statement. (Ventures Cebu)