NEDA Board approves NAIA rehabilitation and Laguindingan Airport proposals

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, chaired by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., approved on July 19, 2023 the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Laguindingan International Airport public-private partnership (PPP) projects aimed at enhancing airport operations during its 7th meeting at the Malacañan Palace.

“The approval of these key airport projects demonstrates this administration’s push to use the PPP mechanism to the hilt to develop the country’s infrastructure, particularly in transportation. Private sector participation, which brings in both financial capital and technical expertise, will enable consumers to experience efficient and quality service as they travel domestically and internationally,” Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said.

With an estimated project cost of ​​PHP170.6 billion, the solicited proposal to Rehabilitate, Operate, Expand, and Transfer (ROET) NAIA aims to address the longstanding challenges of undercapacity, congestion, and underinvestment in the country’s main gateway.

The solicited NAIA PPP Project to be led by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) will increase airport capacity from 35 million passengers per annum (MPPA) to 62 MPPA; increase air traffic movements (ATM) per hour from 40 to 48; improve service by applying internationally-benchmarked Minimum Performance Standards and Specifications (MPSS); and utilize private sector expertise for modernization and capacity expansion.

The proposal was evaluated within a record-breaking period of 7 weeks, replacing the Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEX) Extension Project as the fastest approved PPP proposal in Philippine history.

The NEDA Board also approved the unsolicited proposal for the Upgrade, Expansion, Operation, and Maintenance of the Laguindingan International Airport with an estimated project cost of PHP12.75 billion, to reinforce its role as the gateway to Northern Mindanao and promote economic development and tourism in the region.

Completed in 2013, the Airport was constructed to address the safety issues concerning the Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro and was financed with official development assistance (ODA) from Korea. It is the first of many regional airports to be approved for PPP.

The unsolicited Laguindingan Airport PPP Project to be led by the DOTr and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) also aims to integrate sustainability into airport operations and make use of digital technologies to enhance the passenger experience and improve system efficiency.

To ensure a thorough and fair evaluation process, the DOF introduced safeguards to the Parameters, Terms, and Conditions (PTC) of the Laguindingan International Airport to protect the interests of both consumers and the government.

The NEDA Board has instructed the implementing agencies to commence the preparation of the bidding process and the negotiations with the project’s original proponent for the NAIA and Laguindingan International Airport, respectively.

The swift approval of the PPP proposals signifies the Marcos administration’s resolve to build efficient airport infrastructure that will boost tourism and spur economic growth in the Philippines.

Just last year, the Build-Operate-Transfer Law implementing rules and regulations were revised and the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) Guidelines on processing PPP proposals were updated, streamlining the submission, evaluation, and approval of PPP projects.

The NEDA Board is composed of the President as Chairperson, NEDA Secretary as Vice Chair, and the Executive Secretary, Finance Secretary, and Budget Secretary as members.