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Davao airport upgrade sealed

Maria Romero

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DoTr Secretary Art Tugade wants comfort projects spread throughout the country.

Balanced development was key to the approval yesterday of 12 projects worth P557.44 billion bannered by the P48.9-billion modernization plan for the Davao International Airport.

The projects were cleared yesterday by the National Economic and Development Authority Board’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee.

The Davao International Airport modernization is based on an unsolicited operate-and-transfer proposal of Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. which aims to boost passenger traffic at the airport by up to 15.1 million passengers per annum.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia noted the approval of the 12 projects was important in fulfilling the administration’s thrust of fostering growth centers in the regions and expanding access to development opportunities throughout the country.

Economic dispersal

“These are in line with the National Spatial Strategy to make cities like Metro Manila efficient and to improve connectivity between areas,” Pernia said.

The project’s phase 1 period is calendared to start this year and is set to be completed by 2028. The project has a concession period of 30 years.

Under the project, the terminal building will be reconfigured and expanded while a parallel taxiway will be built. The airside and landside facilities will be improved while modern airport information technology systems will be installed.

Department of Transportation (DoTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said an upgraded Davao International Airport will boost the economic growth of the Davao region and the rest of Mindanao and spur increased trade and tourism.

The Davao International Airport is the third largest airport in the country after the Mactan International Airport and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Backlogs addressed

“Modernization of the Davao International Airport will greatly boost both trade and tourism activities across Mindanao that will be in harmony with the ‘Build, Build, Build’ thrust of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte,” Tugade noted.

Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects Secretary Vince Dizon backed the green-lighting of the Davao project.

The Davao International Airport modernization is based on an unsolicited operate-and-transfer proposal of Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp.

“This is a very positive development as far as fast-tracking our infrastructure backlogs is concerned. This project will also speed-up the realization of the transportation roadmap as envisioned by the DoTr,” Dizon explained.

These are in line with the National Spatial Strategy to make cities like Metro Manila efficient and to improve connectivity between areas.

Also approved by the NEDA-ICC in its 20 December 2019 meeting were the unsolicited proposals for the Metro Rail Transit 4 project, the upgrade of the Laguindingan Airport, the EDSA Greenways Project and the Maritime Safety Enhancement Program.

Swiss challenge next

After hurdling the NEDA-ICC, Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. will then hold further discussions with the DoTr before seeking final approval from the NEDA Board which is chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Should it secure approval from the NEDA Board, the unsolicited proposal will still have to undergo a Swiss challenge in which rival bidders can offer better proposals. As the project’s original proponent, Chelsea Logistics has the right to match other offers.

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