What Happened to Efforts to Rehabilitate NAIA?
In December 2020, the Manila International Airport Authority officially revoked the original proponent status (OPS) awarded to Megawide Construction Corp. (MCC) to rehabilitate the aging Ninoy Aquino International Airport. It was the second time the government pulled the NAIA within a span of six months. The first was from a superconsortium composed of seven of the country’s biggest conglomerates.
But the Department of Transportation says efforts to improve the NAIA continue despite the absence of unsolicited proposals from private companies.
“Porke ba hindi natuloy, ibig ba sabihin wala nang ginawa yung NAIA?” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said during a virtual interview with editors of Summit Media, including Esquire Philippines. “Hindi ho. Nung may mga offer, sige-sige pa rin yung pag kumpuni namin sa NAIA. (Just because the proposals got cancelled doesn’t mean nothing happened to improve NAIA. Even when there were offers, we continued doing repair and maintenance work in NAIA).”
In a presentation, the Secretary enumerated what his department has done concerning the country’s main gateway. These include:
1| Repair and overlay of Runway 13/31, including interconnecting taxiway
2| Repair and upgrading of Runway 13/31 extension
3| Construction of New Taxiway H-5
4| Electrical works and installation of additional airfield lighting
5| Completion of rapid exit taxiway at Runway 06/24
6| Rehabilitation of NAIA Terminal 2, including expansion of the arrival baggage hall and departure check-in area to accommodate the growing number of passengers, with additional air-conditioning system, power and lightings, fire protection as well as electronics and communications systems.
“Nung hindi natuloy yung unsolicited proposal, yung sa Megawide, a few months after, kinumpleto namin yung upgrading of runway 13/31,” Tugade said. “Ibig sabihin, ma-accommodate na yung larger domestic aircraft. It will also improve airside facilities, and enhance airport operation facilities. (When the unsolicited proposal of Megawide didn’t happen, we completed the upgrading of runway 13/31).”
Tugade said these improvement efforts happened even without the assistance of the private sector. Still, he expressed disappointment about the failure of the government and the private sector to agree on the best course of action to finally improve NAIA.
“Sayang walang natuloy dun sa mga unsolicited proposal, for one reason or another, but we did not cry over spilled milk. Tuloy-tuloy yung improvement na ginawa namin. We became pro-active as we tried to formulate the approach on unsolicited proposals. Nung walang nangyari sa mga unsolicited proposal, because we were pro active, we were inaugurating improvements at the NAIA.”
Outside of NAIA, Tugade highlighted the current administration’s completed projects and ongoing refurbishments and other improvements across other airports across the country. These include:
1| Clark International Airport
2| Ormoc Airport
3| Sangley Airport
4| Bicol International Airport
5| Bohol-Panglao International Airport
6| Mactan-Cebu International Airport
7| Lal-Lo International Airport (Cagayan)
8| Puerto Princesa International Aiport
9| Tacloban Airport
10| Kalibo International Airport
11| General Santos International Airport
12| Zamboanga International Airport
13| Virac Airport
14| Dumaguete Airport
15| Camiguin Airport
16| Calbayog Airport (Samar)
17| Bulacan International Airport
The secretary also mentioned the completion of numerous other projects involving seaports, railways and infrastructure projects under the DOTr.