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More firms express interest in Nayong Pilipino project

BusinessWorld logo BusinessWorld 2/16/2017
BusinessWorld Photo: A view of nickel-ore mine Zambales Diversified Metals Corporation ordered closed by Environment secretary Regina Lopez in Sta Cruz Zambales on Feb. 7, 2017. Reuters© Copyright 2016, BusinessWorld Publishing Corporation A view of nickel-ore mine Zambales Diversified Metals Corporation ordered closed by Environment secretary Regina Lopez in Sta Cruz Zambales on Feb. 7, 2017. Reuters

Megawide Construction Corp. -- the listed builder of the new Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) -- and Alabang business district builder Filinvest Development Corp. said they are both interested in the public-private partnership (PPP) park project in what would be the Duterte administration’s second PPP venture to gain ground.The “New Nayong Pilipino at Entertainment City” project takes its name from the old cultural park that now sits in Clark, Pampanga, but will rise on a 9.5-hectare lot in the Entertainment City gaming and entertainment complex in Parañaque City.The government early this month conducted the investors’ conference for the project.In January, it offered regional airport deals too.Both Megawide and Filinvest attended the PPP Center’s briefing for investors on the park project.“Yes, we are interested in the Nayong Pilipino bid. We would like to study the terms properly so that we’ll know how to proceed,” GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) President Manuel Louie B. Ferrer said in a mobile phone reply when asked whether the firm is interested to bid for the contract.“It’s a project close to the hearts of many Filipinos because we grew up visiting the old Nayong Pilipino. Just as we worked to exceed the standards set for MCIA, we want to do the same for this project and any others we might be interested in.”Filinvest Development Corp. Vice-President for Marketing Bernadette M. Ramos said in a separate mobile phone reply: “Yes we are looking at Nayong Pilipino.”“I know our team is currently reviewing the papers.”During the Feb. 9 investors conference for the project, representatives of Ayala-led AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp.; JG Summit Holdings, Inc.; SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; Megaworld Corp.; Filinvest Land, Inc.; D.M.Consunji, Inc. and D.M. Wenceslao and Associates, Inc. also attended. Representatives of the group of Japanese casino mogul Kazuo Okada, whose Philippine subsidiary Tiger Resort, Leisure & Entertainment, Inc. owns and operates the Okada Manila within Entertainment City were also present.Megawide and Filinvest add to the two other groups that last week voiced interest in the new Nayong Pilipino contract.AC Infrastructure Corporate Communications Head Irene S. Maranan earlier said the firm will assess the project first, while D.M. Wenceslao Chief Executive Officer Delfin C. Wenceslao said his company will also evaluate the project.The project is envisioned to become a “world-class showcase of highly interactive and immersive experience of historic and contemporary Philippine culture and heritage within a theme park.”The winning bidder will build, operate and maintain the project for 23 years, inclusive of a three-year construction phase, according to the state PPP Center.“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 had said in a speech at the Feb. 9 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.

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