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Iloilo airport original-proponent bid review set for completion by Feb. 21

THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said it is currently reviewing unsolicited proposals for the upgrade and expansion of Iloilo International Airport, with a Feb. 21 deadline set for completing the evaluation of some proposals. 

“As far as the unsolicited proposals are concerned, since the PPP (public-private partnership) code became effective, the unsolicited proposals that have an OPS (original proponent status) will be evaluated under the old rules. Deadlines will have to be met by Feb. 21,” Roberto C.O. Lim, Transportation undersecretary for aviation and airports, told reporters. 

Last year, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. signed a measure that aims to streamline the framework for PPPs.

The PPP Code, or Republic Act No. 11966, amended the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law to create a unified legal framework for all PPPs at both national and local levels.

In 2023, Aboitiz InfraCapital submitted a proposal to develop and improve the Iloilo International Airport.

“Yes, we did (submit a proposal), but we’re second in line. Another firm has OPS which DoTr and the government issued to,” Cosette V. Canilao, Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. president and chief executive officer, said in a Viber message.

In 2019, the unsolicited bid of Prime Asset Ventures Inc. (PAVI) was granted the OPS for its proposal to operate, maintain, and expand the Iloilo International Airport.

The grant of an OPS gives the original bidder the option to match other bidders who may trigger a Swiss challenge.

The Iloilo provincial government website indicates that PAVI was instructed to submit documents in compliance with the revised guidelines of the BOT law. 

“They need to provide updated submissions to comply with the PPP code so that the department can evaluate it and make modifications and proceed to other parts of the negotiations,” Mr. Lim said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera