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Megawide says NAIA rehab proposal still valid

MEGAWIDE Construction Corp. said its proposal to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino Airport (NAIA) remains valid.

The company issued the statement late Monday night after a news website reported that the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) had “junked” the proposal.

Megawide said, “The letter of Secretaries (Carlos G.) Dominguez and (Karl Kendrick T.) Chua, as chair and co-chair of the NEDA-ICC (Investment Coordination Committee), dated 19 November 2020, merely asked for the full submission of the requirements from the Megawide-GMR (GMR Infrastructure Ltd.) consortium to demonstrate capabilities to deliver a first-world NAIA.”

A paragraph from the letter, according to the company, stated: “May we request DOTr (Department of Transportation) to kindly ensure that all the requisite requirements…are complied with by the private proponent in form and substance, and evaluated by the DOTr in accordance with Rule 5 and Sections 10.5, 10.7 and 10.8 of the Amended BOT (build-operate-and-transfer) Law and its IRR (implementing rules and regulations), prior to the endorsement or resubmission of the unsolicited proposal for NEDA/ICC Board action.”

Megawide said it submitted on Nov. 20 additional documents to prove its financial capability to undertake the project.

“Under the new arrangement, Megawide will have a majority stake at 60% while GMR has agreed to provide forty per cent (40%) of the equity requirement for the project,” the company explained.

Messrs. Dominguez and Chua have yet to comment on the matter.

NEDA said in a statement on Monday: “NEDA can’t comment as the subject project is still in process. Thank you for understanding. We’re not also sure what’s the source of the site.”

On Nov. 16, Megawide Director Manuel Louie B. Ferrer said he was hoping the Swiss challenge for the project would be completed by the first quarter of 2021.

The company expects to spend P12 billion for the first phase of the project and P20 billion for the second phase in the first three to four years of implementation, according to Megawide Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edgar B. Saavedra.

The project will involve improvements to airside and landside; construction of a new passenger terminal building; and apron and taxilane improvements. Also, the cargo terminal and fuel farm will be moved to accommodate the new passenger terminal building and prevent disruption in operations.

The company will also build a bus rapid transit and elevated railway that will ferry passengers within the NAIA complex.

Megawide shares on Tuesday closed 4.26% lower at P9.90 apiece. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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