Prospective investors drawn to Nayong Pilipino PPP deal

February 10, 2017

Prospective investors drawn to Nayong Pilipino PPP deal

THE P1.47-billion New Nayong Pilipino at Entertainment City Project — the second public-private partnership (PPP) venture to gain ground under this administration after last month’s offer of regional airport deals — has drawn the interest of conglomerates and other major firms.

Representatives of Ayala-led AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp.; JG Summit Holdings, Inc.; SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; Megaworld Corp.; Megawide Construction Corp.; Filinvest Land, Inc.; D.M.Consunji, Inc. and D.M. Wenceslao and Associates, Inc. attended the project’s investors’ conference on Thursday.

Representatives of the group of Japanese casino mogul Kazuo Okada, whose Philippine subsidiary Tiger Resort, Leisure & Entertainment, Inc. owns and operates the Okada Manila, and Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc. that operates integrated resort and casino Resorts World Manila, also attended.

The New Nayong Pilipino project is one of two projects under the PPP scheme that was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority Board in its Nov. 14 meeting last year.

Planned to rise on a 9.5-hectare lot in the Entertainment City gaming and entertainment complex in Parañaque City, the project is envisioned to be a “world-class showcase of highly interactive and immersive experience of historic and contemporary Philippine culture and heritage within a theme park.”

“The New Nayong Pilipino project of the Department of Tourism and Nayong Pilipino Foundation is expected to be the “top-of-mind destination for foreign and local tourists who want to experience what makes our nation and culture unique and more fun,” the PPP Center said in a statement yesterday.

The winning bidder will build, operate and maintain the project for 23 years, inclusive of a three-year construction phase. “The contract involves construction of the park, installation and maintenance of its facilities and conceptualization and implementation of day-to-day programs,” PPP Center Executive Director Ferdinand A. Pecson said in a speech at the conference.

The indicative timetable presented to prospective bidders showed invitation for prospective investors to pre-qualify and bid will be published next month, pre-qualification documents should be submitted by July, auction will be held in December, notice of award and contract signing will be in February and April 2018, respectively, notice to proceed will be issued by October next year and project construction should be completed by October 2021.

“We will have to assess first,” AC Infrastructure Corporate Communications Head Irene S. Maranan said when asked on her firm’s interest.

D.M. Wenceslao Chief Executive Officer Delfin C. Wenceslao for his part said in a mobile phone message: “We will still need to evaluate/study the project, but I think it will be an excellent addition to the Aseana City”, a 107-hectare area in Parañaque City along the shoreline of Manila Bay whose development as a commercial and entertainment district is being overseen by the Philippine Reclamation Authority.

Mr. Pecson said during yesterday’s investor conference that the New Nayong Pilipino project can be applied as a Tourism Enterprise Zone for incentives and tax holidays.

The PPP center also encouraged firms to form consortia, citing the “multiple level of expertise” needed for the project.

“We still have to formally start the bidding process. The announcement will be in March 2017. We’re overwhelmed by the presence of prospective bidders, but we hope that there will be more,” Mr. Pecson said at the sidelines of the conference, noting that representatives of Chinese firms were also present during the event.

Contracts for 14 PPP projects cumulatively worth P293.91 billion have been awarded since the infrastructure program was launched in 2010’s third quarter, right after then President Benigno S.C. Aquino III took office.

The Duterte administration — which had initially said in its first week in office in July last year that it targeted to roll out up to 17 PPP projects by the end of 2017 — has said it would take a more deliberate approach to PPPs, noting its predecessor had taken too much time to roll out and award deals under this program, which had been its infrastructure flagship. — Imee Charlee C. Delavin (Business World)

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