The Aboitiz group submitted a Php148-billion unsolicited proposal to upgrade, expand, operate and maintain four of the country’s main regional airports yesterday, March 7.
Through Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., the group’s infrastructure business unit, the proposal aims to modernize and maintain over a 35-year concession period the Iloilo International Airport, Bacolod-Silay Airport, Laguindingan Airport and New Bohol International Airport (also known as Panglao Island International Airport).
“Through this unsolicited proposal, we intend to support the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program as we develop sustainable airport facilities that reflect and support the tremendous economic and tourism potential of the Philippines’ regions and provinces,” Aboitiz InfraCapital CEO and President Sabin Aboitiz said in a statement.
If and when the government awards the project this 2018, Aboitiz InfraCapital said major upgrades and capacity expansions could be completed as early as 2021. The company plans to make these airports “green” and “connected” through the use of innovation and technology.
“Not only will none of the airports require any form of subsidy, the combined potential of the four regional gateways results in overall gains for both the government and the local economy,” the company said.
Just less than a month ago, seven of the biggest conglomerates in the Philippines, including Aboitiz group, submitted a Php350-billion proposal to upgrade and expand the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). This bid was challenged by Edgar Saavedra’s Megawide Construction Corp. last week when it submitted a similar proposal worth $3 billion (Php156 billion).
Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV), the family’s main holding company, is the country’s eighth biggest firm by market capitalization. As of March 8, AEV is worth Php413.8 billion.
AEV Chairman Jon Aboitiz is the 33rd richest person in the country, together with brother Mikel, with a net worth of $350 million. Erramon Aboitiz, AEV’s CEO, ranks 48th with $130 million.
Pauline Macaraeg is Entrepreneur PH’s data journalist