Gov’t readies Swiss challenge to airport upgrade proposal
MANILA, Philippines — The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) has approved the terms of the proposal of the Aboitiz group of companies to upgrade Mindanao’s second busiest airport — the Laguindingan International in Misamis Oriental.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the terms of the P12.75- -billion unsolicited public-private partnership proposal were negotiated by the Department of Transportation and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines with the original proponent, Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc.
Balisacan said the project will have to undergo the Swiss challenge process as required by the newly enacted Public-Private Partnership Code, he said.
“Prospective challenges will be given 90 days from the publication of the invitation for comparative proposals to submit their proposals. The original proponent will be given 30 calendar days to match responsive comparative proposals,” Balisacan said.
He added that if there are no comparative proposals submitted, the project will be awarded to the original proponent by May 2024.
Approved in July last year, the Laguindingan International Airport Project is part of the government’s efforts to enhance regional development and promote tourism in Northern Mindanao.
Laguindingan International is Mindanao’s second-busiest airport after Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City.
It serves the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, and Marawi, as well as the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, and Bukidnon.
In a recent Neda board meeting, Balisacan said the body also approved the request to change the timeline and scope of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Rural Agro-enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth or Rapid Growth Project.
Balisacan said the P44.78-billion Rapid Growth Project seeks to support 78,000 farming households by expanding on-farm and off-farm activities and generating employment opportunities in rural areas.
“The project seeks to support the growth and development of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with strong backward linkages to farmers and to provide them access to the needed capital to sustain their businesses. It will also create business partnerships with MSMEs and farmers to ensure a steady source of high-quality raw materials for the production needs of agro-enterprises,” he added.
In addition, Neda also presented to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. the Philippine Development Report (PDR) 2023, which contains updates on the major programs, projects, and policies implemented in 2023.
“As an evidence-based report, the PDR evaluates our country’s performance based on the outcome indicators identified in the [Philippine Development Plan] and tracks the progress of bills under the Marcos administration’s legislative agenda,” Balisacan said.