The recent approval of operations and maintenance (O&M) of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport (BPIA) project is seen to boost regional economic growth and tourism in Bohol.
No less than Department of Transportation (DoTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade made this claim on Wednesday after the unsolicited proposal by the Aboitiz Group for the BPIA O&M was given the green light last 9 November by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board.
“We hope this new airport will help propel development in Bohol and the rest of the Visayas” Secretary Tugade said.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary and Infrastructure Cluster head Mark Villar also lauded the NEDA Board’s decision to give the BPIA O&M proposal the go-ahead.
“This is a very positive development as far as fast-tracking our infrastructure backlogs is concerned. This is for our kababayans in the Visayas. This is for the entire Filipino people,” Secretary Villar stated.
For his part, Secretary Vince Dizon, Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects, also hailed the green-lighting of the airport project.
“The BPIA project will help create the needed atmosphere for the speedy realization of the transportation roadmap as envisioned by the DoTr under the leadership of Secretary Tugade,” Secretary Dizon said.
In a statement, the NEDA Board chaired by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, gave the green light after earlier revisions on the proposal were made.
On 6 November, the NEDA’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) approved the unsolicited proposal for the airport’s O&M under a 25-year concession period.
NEDA said the project will still be subjected to a Swiss challenge wherein other firms are given the opportunity to challenge AIC’s bid. AIC may then match the best bid from challengers.
Under the unsolicited proposal submitted to the DoTr, the Aboitiz Group will serve as the concessionaire, through its infrastructure arm, Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc.
With an estimated capital expenditure of P3.8 billion, the project involves the operations and maintenance of the BPIA, including initial enhancement and installation of internal fit-outs of existing facilities (Phase 1 from 2020 to 2021), as well as optimization and reconfiguration as dictated by traffic demand (Phase 2 from 2026 to 2027).
Located in Panglao, the international airport is also known as the “Green Gateway to the World” for harnessing green technology and environmentally sustainable structures.