Megawide appeals to restore original proponent status for NAIA rehab

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 21 2020 03:09 PM | Updated as of Dec 21 2020 05:40 PM

Artist's rendering of Megawide's proposed redesign of NAIA. Handout photo

MANILA - The Filipino-Indian consortium bidding to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is appealing the revocation of its original proponent status (OPS), according to a document seen on Monday by ABS-CBN News. 

Megawide-GMR has filed an appeal with the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) to reconsider the dropping of its OPS, saying the agency made its decision without considering the more recent documents the consortium submitted to back up its claim it can finance the NAIA rehab project. 

An OPS gives a bidder advantage over rivals as it gives a company first dibs on a project, and allows it to match the terms and costs offers of its competitors and thus secure the bidding.

MIAA General Ed Monreal told lawmakers last Thursday that they decided to revoke Megawide’s OPS based on a Nov. 19 letter from the Department of Finance (DOF) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) saying the company did not have enough capital to finance the project under the law.

The DOF and NEDA noted that Megawide had a capitalization of P18 billion, but P32.3-billion in equity was required for the entire NAIA project based on the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) law. 

In its Motion for Reconsideration, Megawide said the company sent new documents to the MIAA on Nov. 20 and Dec. 1 explaining how its equity position met the BOT law’s requirements. 

Megawide said that it had equity of P19.58 billion, with P1.58 billion as set-aside deposit, while its Indian partner GMR had P13.05 billion in equity, which together was enough to satisfy the requirements of the project under the BOT law. 

“As a result, the decision should be reconsidered in light of new and material information addressing the very issue raised prompting MIAA’s decision,” Megawide said in a copy of the appeal seen by ABS-CBN News. 

The company also said it was appealing for “equal treatment” from authorities. 

“We respectfully point out as well that since the Government had negotiated with the earlier proponents – otherwise known as the “Super Consortium” – for 2 years, it would be in keeping with good practice and fair play for us to be also afforded a reasonable period within which to negotiate with the Government and submit all the necessary documents to show our capabilities,” the company said in it letter to the MIAA. 

It also insisted that it was fully capable of sustaining the financing requirements of the planned P109-billion NAIA rehab project in phases. 

The revocation of Megawide’s OPS was announced on the same day that the company unveiled its redesign plan for NAIA.

San Miguel Corp, which is building a rival airport project in Bulacan province, said it was willing to operate and maintain NAIA, but would not rehabilitate it. 

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