NEDA approves Aboitiz’ Bohol airport proposal


    The Aboitiz Group’s unsolicited proposal to operate and maintain the Bohol-Panglao International Airport (BPIA) for 25 years has been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board.

    After the NEDA Board, chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte, gave the green light, the unsolicited proposal will be subjected to a Swiss challenge wherein other firms can offer their proposals.

    The concessionaire, through its infrastructure arm Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., can match the best bid from challengers. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is expected to undertake the Swiss challenge next year.

    The project, with an estimated capital expenditure of P3.8 billion, involves the operation and maintenance of BPIA, including initial enhancement and installation of internal fit-outs of existing facilities, under the first phase from 2020 to 2021.

    Phase 2, from 2026 to 2027, covers the optimization and reconfiguration of the airport as dictated by traffic demand.

    Arthur Tugade, DOTr secretary, said the approval of the project will help boost regional economic growth and tourism in Bohol, in line with the thrust of the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration.

    “It is our hope that this new airport will help propel development in Bohol and the rest of the Visayas,” Tugade said.

    Panglao international airport is known as the “Green Gateway to the World” for harnessing green technology and environmentally sustainable structures.

    “This is a very positive development as far as fast-tracking our infrastructure backlogs is concerned. This is for our kababayans in Visayas. This is for the entire Filipino people,” said Mark Villar, Public Works and Highways secretary and Infrastructure Cluster head.

    Aboitiz InfraCapital is also part of the NAIA Consortium which offered to rehabilitate and expand Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), a project that likewise got the green light from the NEDA Board.