P288-B unsolicited project proposals for Cebu await action from Neda, other agencies

By: Irene R. Sino Cruz September 26,2019 - 04:03 PM

GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) proposes to take over the Mactan Cebu International Airport airside facilities and the construction of a third terminal to prepare for the projected increase in passenger traffic to 50 million per year. | MCIAA Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines —Two unsolicited project proposals for Cebu with combined cost of about P288 billion are awaiting further action from the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC), according to a statement from the Nation Economic Development Authority (Neda).

The build-operate-transfer proposal for the 50-year integrated development for the Mactan Cebu International Airport has recently submitted documents required by the ICC for review by the Neda, the Department of Finance (DOF), and the Public-Private Partnership Center (PPPC).

The proposal, endorsed by the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), is among the 20 unsolicited project proposals submitted to the Neda ICC secretariat as of September 20, 2019. It has been presented to the ICC Technical Board.

The project proponent, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), intends to take over the airport’s airside facilities from MCIAA.  

It will invest P208 billion for the rehabilitation of MCIA’s existing runways and taxiways, the construction of an additional full length parallel taxiway that can act as an emergency runway, and the development of additional rapid exit taxiways and runway holding positions.

The other unsolicited project proposal submitted to Neda ICC was for the P80-billion Cebu monorail transit system, a build-transfer-operate-maintain (BTOM) project, by the Department of Transportation (DOTR). So far, the project proponent has submitted additional information on the project but these were yet to be reviewed by  Neda ICC.

The Cebu monorail transit system project is among seven that are still under ICC Secretariat evaluation and undergoing refinements based on technical discussions with ICC member agencies (including the PPP Center), sponsor agencies, and/or original private proponents of these proposals.

The Udenna Infrastructure Corp. proposes to build two lines for the monorail: the 17-kilometer central line from Talisay City to Cebu City; and the 9-kilometer airport line from Cebu City in mainland Cebu to MCIA in Lapu-Lapu City on Mactan Island.

According to Neda, its review of submitted unsolicited proposals requires a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach, considering all the laws that these projects must comply with and their potential impact on various facets of development.

“Neda always ensures that these unsolicited proposals in our pipeline are carefully selected and thoroughly reviewed,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia in an emailed statement on Thursday, September 26.

Pernia said those selected would fit into the goals and strategies of the government, as contained in the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.

“Importantly, they should follow the Build-Operate-Transfer or BOT law, among others,” he added.

Neda looks into the technical, financial, economic, social, and environmental aspects of the projects submitted for appraisal. These include a review of the proponent’s financial model to check the rates of return and if they are consistent with proposed legal obligations under the draft concession agreement.

“This review entails a round of negotiations between the government and the private sector proponent. We need to ensure that once awarded, the project will be implemented without undue legal and political risks succeeding administrations have to face,” said Pernia.

According to Pernia, these unsolicited proposals were indications of private sector confidence in the Philippine economy. 

“Neda is doing its best to efficiently and speedily process these, allowing the private sector to innovate, while keeping in mind the public’s interest over the medium and long term,” he said.  /elb

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