THE CONSORTIUM of big businesses pushing for the rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) recently announced that its negotiations with the Philippine government ended in a stalemate, threatening the downfall of the project.
“The consortium proposed changes to update the NAIA project’s framework to ensure the bankability of the NAIA project,” it said in a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, July 7.
“Unfortunately, the government indicated that it is not willing to accept most of the consortium’’s proposed options and the consortium can only move forward with the NAIA project under the options it has proposed,”it added.
The NAIA Consortium cited the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the aviation sector in the Philippines and abroad as reason for the stalemate.
“The far-reaching and long-lasting consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on airline travel, airline operations and airport passenger traffic necessitated a review of the assumptions and plans to ensure that the NAIA project will be viable in the ‘new normal,’” it said.
The P102-billion NAIA rehabilitation plan came about two years ago with the goal of expanding NAIA’s passenger capacity and increasing flights to combat worsening congestion. It also aimed to establish NAIA as a “major regional airport.”
After submitting its proposal, the consortium was granted original proponent status in 2018 by the Department of Transportation and the Manila International Airport Authority.
However, Transportation Undersecretary Ruben Reinoso on Wednesday, July 8, confirmed the government has withdrawn the OPS it granted to the consortium.
The consortium was initially composed of the Ayala family’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Andrew Tan’s Alliance Global Group Inc., the Aboitiz family’s Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., the Gotianun family’s Filinvest Development Corporation, the Gokongwei family’s JG Summit Holdings, Inc., Lucio Tan’s Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., and Manny Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Investment Corp.
MPIC withdrew from the consortium last March.