Megawide says investors 'excited' over its NAIA rehab bid

Bruce Rodriguez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 16 2020 04:11 PM

Megawide says investors 'excited' over its NAIA rehab bid 1
Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News file photo

MANILA - Megawide Construction Corp on Monday said it has "fully complied" with government requirements and that investors and lenders are keen on funding its bid to upgrade the Philippines' main airport. 

"A lot of them are very excited and even pushing us to get this project. We are very confident that we can get the funding for this project," said Megawide chairman and CEO Edgar Saavedra. 

Megawide said it can hurdle financial concerns raised by the government over its P109 billion ($2.2 billion) proposal to revamp the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The only concern raised by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) was the company's financial capability to finance the project, said Saavedra.

Several lawmakers and groups earlier sought to have Megawide disqualified from the NAIA modernization project, alleging the company does not have the financial muscle to undertake the program.

But Megawide said it has already complied with the capital requirements via its partnership with New Dehli-based GMR Infrastructure Limited. 

GMR was also Megawide's partner in the development of the new terminals of the Mactan Cebu International Airport and the New Clark International Airport. 

Megawide says investors 'excited' over its NAIA rehab bid 2

The Megawide-GMR consortium was granted "original proponent status," to upgrade NAIA last July, after the government terminated the bid of another consortium made up of the Philippines' biggest conglomerates.

Louie Ferrer, chief branding and corporate affairs officer of Megawide, said, "within the week we will be submitting the financial requirements with GMR's participation."

Should NEDA give the greenlight, Ferrer said they hope to start the Swiss challenge for the project by the first quarter of 2021.

Meanwhile, Andrew Harrison, Chief Executive Advisor at the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) sought to allay concerns that around 14,000 people may lose their jobs once Megawide takes over NAIA. 

Harrison said they will ask all employees of NAIA to join them once they start operating the airport.

"The employees of NAIA, they have the capabilities, they are part of the solution," he said.

Megawide-GMR is proposing to address congestion in NAIA in 7 years or less by gradually expanding its capacity to 65 million passengers per year.

Before the pandemic, NAIA was struggling to accommodate 45 million passengers annually, which is above its current design capacity of 31 million passengers per year.

Megawide is also proposing to build a passenger railway link that would connect the airport terminals within the 650-hectare complex, on top of a bus rapid transit system.

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