Transportation Secretary Art Tugade is pushing Megawide Construction to proceed with its P109 billion proposal to rehabilitate and expand Ninoy Aquino International Airport before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022.
This was revealed by Megawide chairman and CEO Edgar Saavedra who insisted that his company has been ready to make over NAIA as early as two years ago even though Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez and acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua rejected Megawide’s proposal on November 19, 2020 due to its lack of equity.
“Based on the last discussion we had with the Secretary (Tugade), we know that there is urgency, they are pushing us, because they want this project rolled about as soon as possible, w e’re hoping before before the elections, you can sense the urgency…one of the Secretaries said they wasted two years already and they are pressing out of time to roll out and get NAIA fixed as soon as possible,” said Saavedra in an interview with ANC.
In his view, Saavedra claimed Dominguez and Chua merely returned Megawide’s proposal due to lack of requirements. Saavedra said Megawide has fully complied with the demands of the National Economic and Development Authority on November 20 after its partner, GMR of India, committed to put up the 40 percent equity for NAIA.
“We are always ready (to fix NAIA) for the last two years since we submitted our bid. We have been operating Mactan airport for the last six years. We know how to operate NAIA, we are not only an airport operator, we are also an engineering company, we can hit the ground running,” said Saavedra.
“Especially with Secretary Tugade’s challenge on us, he said we do not want to experience any flight delays. So on the ground, within six months, the passengers will not experience any flight delays in spite of the overcapacity,” Saavedra said.
Megawide was granted original proponent status for NAIA makeover by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) in July 2020.
A super consortium composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group, Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings, Inc., and Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPIC) was stripped off its OPS after NEDA refused to adjust the terms of the project.