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NAIA replacement airport may miss target rollout date

Posted on February 12, 2015 10:28:00 PM


THE GOVERNMENT could miss its mid-2016 target rollout for the new international gateway that will replace Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), after the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said it will finish the full feasibility for the project in February 2016.

“We won’t be able to complete it in June. Our target is January or February next year as it is very complex. There are a lot of things to consider in this project like reclamation and target throughput,” JICA Director for Southeast Asia and Pacific Department Jin Wakabayashi told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Makati City on Thursday.

In June, JICA presented the results of its analysis to Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Jose Angel A. Honrado, which had Sangley Point in Cavite as the most viable location for the new international gateway. The Japanese agency’s proposed Sangley airport would cost around $10 billion.

The analysis contains a project funding proposal from JICA, which involves public sector, official development assistance and public-private partnership components.

The transportation department has yet to finalize its overall airport strategy before it submits a formal presentation to President Benigno S. C. Aquino III. However, Mr. Abaya told reporters on the sidelines: “We will not do unsolicited proposals for this project anymore as the process sparks controversy. We are pushing for an open, transparent bidding for the project.”

In 2013, All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp. (ARCC) — where the Solar Group is the lead local partner — presented an unsolicited full feasibility study on locating an airport at Sangley Point.

San Miguel Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang also submitted a plan for an airport project in May 2014 to the Office of the President, with the conglomerate telling the bourse that the build-operate-transfer project would be located along the Manila-Cavite coastal road and waterfront reclamation site in the cities of Parañaque and Las Piñas.

The likely delay in the rollout, which refers to the publication of the invitation to bid, stems from the inability to meet the June target.

Mr. Abaya told reporters that the timetable was for JICA “to submit a study this June that will allow us to present it to the NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) Board.”

“Once we receive the full feasibility study of JICA, we will proceed with the NEDA Investment Coordination Committee and Board, then we will bid out a portion of it, depending on the study,” he added. — Chrisee Jalyssa V. Dela Paz


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