By James A. Loyola
The Philippine Ports Authority is now evaluating the plan of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) to develop Iloilo ports at a cost of ₱10 billion after having deemed the proposal complete.
ICTSI said it received from PPA a letter of acceptance for completeness in accordance with the Revised Guidelines and Procedures for Entering into Joint Venture Agreements between Government and Private Entities (2013 NEDA JV Guidelines).
PPA will now begin to evaluate the legal, financial and technical merits of ICTSI’s proposal to modernize the Iloilo Commercial Port Complex and the Port of Dumangas within a maximum of 60 days.
“We are excited about this development as we know we submitted a fully compliant proposal that will be the most beneficial for Iloilo,” said ICTSI Global Corporate Head Christian R. Gonzalez.
He noted that, “we are fully committed to working with the PPA on this project, and are hopeful to be granted original proponent status (OPS).”
“With the Transportation Department’s recent directive to fast track unsolicited bids for port projects, we are confident that we will be able to assist the Philippine government more in its goals of upgrading the country’s port network; and help Iloilo attain its full potential in facilitating even greater trade facilitation that will improve connectivity for cargo movement within the country,” said Gonzalez.
Once it receives the OPS, ICTSI’s proposal will be turned over to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for evaluation. If it gains the approval of NEDA, the proposal will go through a Swiss challenge.
Over the life of the concession that will be agreed on with the PPA, ICTSI has estimated an investment of over P8.7 billion to fully develop the Iloilo Port Complex – including dredging and deepening of the drafts and channel to allow the direct entry of new generation, international vessels.
It also plans to purchase modern quayside crane handling equipment estimated to cost around ₱1.35 billion.
ICTSI is also offering to substantially invest in the development of the Port of Dumangas in order to seamlessly handle the spill over from the city port.