[ Philippine ] Neda: SMC’s proposed airport proj may be completed by 2022

03 January 2018

The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said the new Manila International Airport project proposed by San Miguel Corp. (SMC) may be completed before the President’s term ends in 2022.

Neda Undersecretary Rolando G. Tungpalan recently told reporters that this is assuming that the unsolicited proposal of SMC is approved this year.

However, Tungpalan said the interagency Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) has asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to submit additional information on the project before the ICC Technical Board can approve the proposal.

“We asked the DOTr to submit additional information to enable us to validate some of the assumptions. The DOTr has submitted information, [but] I don’t know if it has already been assessed by the appraising offices,” Tungpalan said.

The Neda official added some of the information pertain to the Financial Internal Rate of Return (FIRR) that would serve as the “parameter for [the] Swiss Challenge.”

Tungapalan said the ICC Technical Board is set to meet on January 11. If the assumptions for the FIRR has been made based on the latest submission of the DOTr, the project may be given first pass approval at the ICC.

“We have a January 11 ICC Technical Board [meeting]. We [need] to ascertain whether it’s [project is] ready. In other words, there is new information that would lend us to sharpen our analysis. January 11 is a critical date,” Tungpalan said.

In July 2017 Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said the Duterte administration is still considering SMC’s unsolicited proposal to build an airport in a land owned by the diversifying conglomerate in Bulacan.

Pernia said the Neda will be looking at the proposal’s merits, particularly whether the project will have “conditions.” Should there be any conditions, the Neda secretary said this will be a point against the proposal.

He said initially, he instructed Neda to just focus on the development of the Clark Airport and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to improve the access and capacities of these airports.

The Neda secretary said this is part of the Duterte administration’s aim of focusing on projects that can be completed in three years or within the president’s term.
This focus, Pernia added, sent unsolicited proposals, such as the SMC airport proposal, to the back burner.

Pernia said should the Neda find merit in SMC’s proposal, the proposal will still have to go through Swiss Challenge, a process by which other private groups could still come forward to make an offer to match the bid of the proponent.

He added that the location of the airport in Bulacan also needs to be studied in terms of accessibility. While the government, through the Philippine National Railway, has the Manila-Clark Railway project, the station in Bulacan is not proximate to the location of the airport.

This can be addressed through the National Transport Policy, which, the Neda said, was approved in the last Neda Board meeting. It envisions a national transport system that is “safe, secure, reliable, efficient, integrated, intermodal, affordable, cost-effective, environmentally sustainable and people-oriented.”

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Credit: BusinessMirror
Credit link: https://businessmirror.com.ph/neda-smcs-proposed-airport-proj-may-be-completed-by-2022/

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