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MCIA board, bids awards body to tackle Mactan project issue

Davide agrees with privatization; meeting to put project back on track
/ 06:59 AM January 09, 2014

The choice of the winning bidder for the P17.5 billion Mactan-Cebu Airport expansion project is still hanging.

Gov. Hilario Davide III who arrived yesterday from a meeting last Tuesday in Manila with the MCIAA board,  said he agrees with the thrust to privatize operations at the airport  when the winning bidder takes over  operations under a 20-year  build-rehabilitate-operate-transfer scheme.

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The winning bidder was supposed to be announced last Monday, but the second highest bidder, Filinvest-Singapore Changi group, complained about the capability of the highest bidder, Megawide Consortium-India’s GMR Infrastructure Inc. group, to deliver the project.

“The privatization of the airport will make its services ‘efficient and well-managed,’” Davide said. The expansion project through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) will employ a build-rehabilitate-operate transfer scheme where the winning bidder will take over airport operations for the next 20 years after the rehabilitation, said Davide.

The MCIA management meanwhile will retain its supervisory authority of the airport facility, he said.

During last Tuesday’s meeting, the MCIAA board and the PBAC failed to resolve the Filinvest complaint.

They will meet again today to address  the issue and put the Mactan airport project back on track.

“They are going to have another meeting today (Thursday) with PBAC to hopefully resolve the issues raised,” said Melanie Ng, MCIAA board’s private sector representative, in a phone interview last Tuesday.

The Pre-QualificationBids and Awards Committee (PBAC) has put on hold the announcement of the winning bidder as it studies and decides on  the complaint raised  by the  Filinvest group.

The Megawide Consortium-GMR gave the highest bid of P14.4 billion which is P400 million higher than the Filinvest-Singapore Changi Group.

The bidding for the Mactan airport terminal project was done last December 12.

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PRIVATIZATION

Davide on the Mactan airport’s privatization cited as example international airports in other countries which offer top-class service and offer convenience to its passengers.

“I’m okay with privatization. You see airports abroad if you’ve observed, most of them are operated by private companies. It’s very good, efficient, and it has been managed well,” he said.

The scope of the P17.5 billion new terminal project for Mactan-Cebu International Airport includes the construction of a new terminal along with facilities that follows the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) standards and the construction of an apron for the new terminal.

The cost will include the renovation and expansion of the existing terminal along with all associated infrastructure and facilities, installation of required equipment, installation of required technology tools that’s critical for the operations and operation and maintenance of the airport terminals over a period of 20 years, said Nigel Paul Villarete, MCIA general manager in an earlier interview.

The MCIA is the second largest international airport in the Philippines, serving 14 percent of the country’s passenger traffic or some 5.7 million passengers a year./Correspondent Peter L. Romanillos and Reporter Aileen Garcia-Yap

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