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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

ADB wants NAIA bidding deadline extended

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An Asian Development Bank (ADB) document recommended the extension of bid submission for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Public-Private Partnership Project by a month to give bidders more time to prepare and submit bids.

The document shows that the ADB, which serves as the transaction advisor on the NAIA PPP Project, pushed for the extension of the deadline from Dec. 27, 2023 to Jan. 29, 2024 which it said would result in more competition and a better financial outcome for the government.

It would also provide concrete evidence of the government’s commitment to encourage new players, and foreign investment in Philippine public-private partnerships, without causing undue delay to NAIA’s modernization and the PPP program, according to the document.

The Department of Transportation earlier identified six prospective bidders participating actively in pre-bid activities, and four of them including large, credible international airport operators with no prior investment in the Philippines sought an extension.

The four groups reportedly asked for more time to request and analyze additional information from the Manila International Airport Authority and DOTr because securing their internal corporate approvals could take longer in light of the upcoming holiday season.

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The ADB document said that if the bid date of Dec. 27, 2023 would be retained, only two prospective bidders­large local corporations—would be able to submit bids because both of them previously submitted unsolicited proposals for NAIA and were significantly more familiar with the project compared to other four prospective bidders.

It said extending the bid submission date would attract more bids, resulting in greater competition and a better financial outcome for the government.  This is because the winning bidder would have bested robust competition from a larger number of bidders, giving the public further assurance that the concession was awarded to the best possible bidder.

It would also send a strong statement that the government is committed to ensuring a level playing field for all investors, now that recent reforms allow local and foreign investors to compete for NAIA on the same terms, without foreign ownership restrictions, it said.

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