The privatization of the Bohol Panglao International Airport (BPIA) is seen to make significant progress this year with the government engaging in talks with private parties interested in operating the P8.9-billion facility, said Department of Transportation (DOTr) Sec. Arthur Tugade.
“There are private parties interested in [BPIA]. There are discussions now regarding certain technical things,” Tugade said Tuesday during an online forum organized by the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP).
According to Tugade, he hopes to settle pending issues involving the BPIA privatization by June with the awarding of the project to follow shortly.
“We hope that by the end of June, we will put this issue on Panglao to rest and we are ready to make the award upon the compliance of the requirements by NEDA and the ICC Board,” he added.
Tugade, in the same address to MAP members, cited the BPIA as among the top infrastructure achievements of the Duterte administration.
The transportation chief highlighted the facility as the country’s first eco-airport which has been “declared as a model for eco-technology in building airports in the country.”
The government has been pushing for the privatization of various gateways in the country including the Davao International Airport and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Privatization of the Davao airport is also seen to progress by July while that of the NAIA, the country’s main gateway, has been put on hold.
In 2019, the powerful Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approved an unsolicited proposal for the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the BPIA.
The ICC-CabCom approved the privatization of the BPIA’s operations under a 25-year concession period.