MANILA, Philippines – Ayala Corp. hopes the Duterte administration’s planned infrastructure projects would soon hit the road running, saying that the country badly needs new railway systems, roads, bridges and airports.
The Duterte administration is facing hurdles for its infrastructure projects.
For instance, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez questioned the administration’s first public-private partnership (PPP) project, the P108 billion auction for the modernization and operation of five regional airports.
In an interview with The Star, AC Infrastructure Holdings president and CEO Jose Rene Almendras expressed hope the government could jumpstart the projects soon because the country needs new infrastructure.
“We hope the government projects will happen such as the airport and the LRT-2. We hope these projects start moving,” he said.
The former Aquino Cabinet secretary said the country needs a lot of infrastructure to support a growing economy.
“The country really needs these infrastructure projects,” Almendras said.
Ayala, through infrastructure subsidiary AC Infrastructure, wants to bid for the P74.6 billion upgrade of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
It also wants to bid for the P2.27-billion Light Rail Transit Line 2 public private partnership (PPP) project.
Aside from these projects, AC Infrastructure is also preparing to submit unsolicited proposals for big-ticket projects, Almendras said.
During a recent hearing of the House Committee on Transportation, Alvarez questioned the 30- to 35-year period for the winning bidder in the operation and maintenance of the airport development, saying that it was too long.
The five regional airports are the Bacolod-Silay, Davao, Iloilo, Laguindingan and New Bohol (Panglao) airports. The government is offering this for bid to private sector investors, on an unbundled or individual basis.
This means bidders would make a separate offer for each airport, unlike the packaging during the previous administration when the five airports were divided into two separate tranches.
Alvarez also questioned the P2.8 billion Common Rail Station between the Light Railway Transit (LRT) Line 1 and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Lines 1 and 7.
He said the project is unconstitutional because private companies involved in the project still have to have a legislative franchise.
This after the government signed a Memorandum of Agreement with private companies such as SM Prime Holdings Inc. executive chairman Hans Sy for the SM Group, Light Rail Manila Corp. vice chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, San Miguel Corp. president and COO Ramon S. Ang and North Triangle Depot Commercial Corp. represented by Ayala Land Inc. vice chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.