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Megawide warns vs. ‘monopoly’ of two large airports

Megawide Construction Corp. on Wednesday warned of “monopoly” if the government allows the proponent of the Bulacan airport to operate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“We believe that what’s good for the government or good for Filipino passengers is that we need competition. From our point of view, If you will be the operator of Bulacan [airport] and you will operate the NAIA, don’t you think it’s a conflict of interest from that structure” Megawide chairman and chief executive Edgar Saavedra during a webinar organized by the Management Association of the Philippines.

“That’s why we think there should be a competition because the more airport you have, the more players, the better for the government,” he said.

Saavedra was referring to San Miguel Corp., the proponent of the P740-billion New Manila International Airport in Bulakan, Bulacan, which also submitted an offer to operate and maintain NAIA for 10 years.

“If the government will allow a monopoly approach or like single operator for one multiple airports, I think it’s not something doable. It also can happen, but it becomes an easy monopoly. It’s different issue, but it can be done,” Saavedra said.

San Miguel said earlier its proposed 10-year concession was designed to give the government a freer hand on what to do with NAIA, once the Bulacan airport was completed and operational.

Saavedra said Megawide had yet to receive a formal communication from the Manila International Airport Authority on the rejection of its motion for reconsideration of its NAIA proposal.

“We are just waiting. Whatever the decision of the government we will respect it. But, we haven’t received any letter yet,” he said.

Saavedra said the joint venture of Megawide and GMR Infrastructure of India has the track record to rehabilitate and operate NAIA.

“We have the capacity. We know how to run it and expand it. From the current management that we have, we can say that we are the only one who has the track record right now,” he said.

“The proposal that we are presenting to the government is that we will be giving a guaranteed payment more than the highest income that they have done for the last three years. Guaranteed payment and yet the private will be the one who will be spending for the capex and take the risk and have the responsibility to expand the capacity,” Saavedra said.

Under the updated proposal submitted in November last year, the consortium of Megawide and GMR plans to spend P109 billion under a 25-year concession period. The company will construct the project in three phases such as the improvement of airside and terminals and the connection via bus rapid transit.

They will also build a new terminal, additional taxi lanes and an elevated railway.

Topics: Megawide Construction Corp. , monopoly , Bulacan airport , Ninoy Aquino International Airport , NAIA , San Miguel Corp.
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