MANILA – The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) on Thursday defended the recent takeover of the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the Clark International Airport (CRK) by a private concessionaire as “favorable” to the government.
In a statement, the BCDA said its concession agreement with the Luzon International Premier Airport Development (LIPAD), the new O&M provider of the existing and new passenger terminals of the CRK, includes an 18.25-percent revenue share and a PHP500-million yearly lumpsum payment for 20 years to the BCDA as the government’s implementing agency.
On the termination/transfer date of the concession agreement, it said the commercial assets developed by LIPAD will also be transferred to the BCDA.
“Thus, the terms and conditions of the O&M are favorable to the government, especially now that the country is dealing with the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on the economy,” the BCDA said.
This, after former BCDA director Max Sangil, in a column on Sunstar Pampanga earlier this week, questioned the takeover by Gotianun-led consortium LIPAD after the CRK achieved financial viability.
The BCDA said it was “natural” to bid out the O&M of the CRK when it was viable to attract more bidders and thus, “result in higher bids.”
“The project was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and the concession agreement is aboveboard,” the BCDA said.
Oversight of CRK, in the hands of DOTr
In response to Sangil’s claim that the oversight function of the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) was removed by the concession agreement, it said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its attached agencies remain responsible to provide oversight for the CRK.
“Let it be clear that the safety, security, and oversight functions shall not be waived by the government. Safety will be handled by CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines), while security will be handled by OTS (Office for Transportation Security),” the BCDA said. (PNA)