Philippines cancels five airport PPPs

Bidding for the projects, estimated at $2.17bn in total, had resumed in January after being halted last year, with the airports generating ‘strong interest’ from the private sector.

The Philippine transportation department has scrapped plans to seek private partners for the development of five regional airports.

Instead, the government will look to pursue the projects with public funding, the department wrote Monday in brief notices stating that the public-private partnership process for each project “is hereby terminated”. The government had relaunched a tender for the development, operations and maintenance of the airports in January after suspending the process last year.

The projects include the Bacolod-Silay, Davao, Iloilo, Laguindingan and New Bohol airports, with total investment estimated at 108 billion Philippines pesos ($2.17 billion; €1.94 billion).

The government looked to bring in private partners in 2015, bidding out the airports in two bundles. When the tender was relaunched this year, the projects were unbundled and bidders were able to bid on individual projects.

The country’s Public-Private Partnership Centre, which looks to facilitate PPPs, said the airport projects had “generated strong interest from the private sector”.

“While the PPP Centre believes in the credibility of these airport projects structured as PPP, and gratefully acknowledges the solid interest of the private sector, we respect [the Civil Aviation Authority’s and transportation department's] authority and their decision to terminate the projects,” a statement from the centre said.