DOTC to bid out 3 Palawan airports separately from 5 regional airports


The government will be bidding out the development of three airports in Palawan separately from the five regional airports currently being auctioned off by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

This developed as the DOTC Prequalification, Bids and Awards Committee has decided to finally exclude Puerto Princesa Airport from the ongoing bidding of the development, operations and maintenance projects for Bacolod-Silay, Iloilo, Davao, Laguindingan and New Bohol airports.

Sought for explanation, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General William Hotchkiss said “Puerto Princesa International Airport can be better bundled with San Vicente and Coron-Busuanga airports all in Palawan.”

Hotchkiss declined to answer when the auction of the Palawan airports could commence. But in the meantime, he said “the CAAP director general, under the policy guidance of the CAAP Board of Directors, will continue to operate and maintain the Puerto Princesa Airport.”

In a bid bulletin, DOTC Undersecretary for Planning and Project Development Rene Limcaoco said the prequalification of prospective bidders for the five regional airports will proceed on July 27. Under the project structure, Bacolod-Silay is grouped with Iloilo as Bundle 1, while Davao, Laguindingan and New Bohol airports are grouped together under Bundle 2.

“Prospective bidder that bids for both Bundle 1 and 2 may win both bundles,” Limcaoco said.

He also clarified that “participants in the regional airports projects will not be disqualified from participating in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Clark International Airport projects on the ground of such participation or winning in the regional airports projects.”

According to the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center, at least five entities bought prequalification documents for the bidding of regional airports’ development, operations and maintenance projects, initially worth a total of P116.23 billion. Prospective bidders include Metro Pacific-JG Summit Consortium, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, San Miguel Corp., Philippine Skylanders Inc., and GMR-Megawide Consortium, which earlier won the P17.5-billion Mactan Cebu International Airport Development Project.

The regional airports are bundled into two packages. The P20.26-billion Bacolod-Silay International Airport will be offered to investors together with P30.4-billion Iloilo International Airport, while the the P40.57-billion contract for Davao International Airport will be auctioned off together with the P14.62-billion Laguindingan Airport and P4.57-billion New Bohol (Panglao) Airport.

The DOTC is yet to announce the bid submission date for the regional airports PPP project but issuance of notice of award is targeted by March 2016, according to the Revised Instructions to Prospective Bidders dated June 17, 2015.

Under the proposed 30-year concession for the regional airports, the private sector partner will take over the operations and maintenance of the airports, undertake immediate expansion of the passenger terminal buildings, apron and other airside or landside facilities, and undertake capacity augmentation to cater to future demand throughout the contractual term.

However, air traffic control services (ATC), air navigation services (ANS) and operations and maintenance of the ATC and ANS facilities of the five airports will continue to be under the responsibility of CAAP.

The Puerto Princesa airport,  construction of which is still on-going, is the country’s seventh busiest airport which boasts of tourist-driven passenger growth rate. According to the government, passenger traffic has been increasing at an average annual rate of 22.86 percent.


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