MANILA, Philippines – Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) presented an unsolicited proposal of 148 billion pesos yesterday to commence modernization of four main regional gateways in a span of 35 years.
Aboitiz InfraCapital, an infrastructure unit of AEV, proposed to develop, expand, and manage the Iloilo International Airport, Laguindingan Airport, Bacolod–Silay Airport, and New Bohol International Airport located in Panglao. These airports are the main access areas into the Visayas and Northern Mindanao.
According to Sabin Aboitiz, president and chief executive officer of Aboitiz InfraCapital, the conglomerate discerns the country’s need for new airports.
He said that the company aims to assist the Build Build Build program of the government by means of the unsolicited plan as they promote airport sustainability through developing facilities which support and reflect the country’s enormous tourism and economic advantage in regions as well as in provinces.
Aboitiz also said that the Iloilo International Airport, Bacolod–Silay Airport, as well as the Laguindingan Airport are already functioning beyond their capacities and need immediate rehabilitation.
Separately, the Bohol Airport appears to open further the island to international travelers as a contribution to the tourism strategy of the Philippines.
Such action will result in decongestion in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Aboitiz noted.
In the previous years, huge growth has been seen in both Visayas and Mindanao. However, these areas’ airports have encountered struggles to go after the development pace.
Airports from Bacolod and Iloilo have been functioning for the past 10 years. On the other hand, Laguindingan Airport started in 2013 but since then has been operating beyond its capacity.
The multi-phased proposal, which costs 148 billion pesos, targets to remodel the airports into top-notch facilities which is what all Filipinos deserve and can consider as the Philippine pride.
Previously, the government attempted to push through with the regional airport modernizations as a crucial infrastructure program and proposed a public-private partnership with five airport facilities under the country’s build-operate-transfer law in 2014. However, in 2017, President Duterte discarded the proposal.
Aboitiz mentioned that resource pooling is necessary to improve, run, and maintain the four airports to open synergies which all stakeholders, and also the government, will gain from.
Aboitiz InfraCapital will begin to work with appropriate community and government stakeholders to enhance performances as well as traveler experience by next year as soon as the proposal is approved.
These considerable enhancements and necessary capacity expansions are expected to conclude as soon as 2021.