THE National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (Neda ICC-CabCom) has approved the unsolicited proposal for the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the New Bohol International Airport.
The Panglao-based airport project was among the four big-ticket infrastructure projects approved by the Neda ICC-CabCom on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019.
According to Neda, the unsolicited proposal spans a 25-year concession period for the airport operator.
ICC-approved projects are then submitted to the Neda board chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte for final approval.
Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., the main proponent for the O&M of the airport, earlier said it was eyeing to spend around P27 billion for the airport once it takes over the facility.
The ICC-CabCom also approved the Samal Island-Davao City Connector and the Camarines Sur High-Speed Highway Projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project.
In an earlier interview, Cosette Canilao, Aboitiz InfraCapital’s chief operating officer, said the firm’s main thrust is to boost international traffic to and from the island’s newest air hub.
She said the firm was looking to spend around P300 to P400 million in the short-term to make “immediate” improvements in the airport facility.
Aboitiz InfraCapital was granted the original proponent status (OPS) for the unsolicited proposal. OPS gives the proponent the right to match any competing offer in a Swiss challenge.
The company is eyeing to take over the airport early next year, but the process may take longer if there are challengers to its bid.
The firm had partnered with Irish airport operator daa International for the future upgrade, expansion and O&M of the Bohol-Panglao and Laguindingan airports.
According to airport consultant ICF, tourism in Bohol has grown at an impressive annual rate of 25.2 percent from 2011 to 2017, and by 30 percent from 2016 to 2017, reaching an estimated 1.3 million. (CSL)