MANILA, Philippines – A unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) appeared poised to bag the controversial P55.5-billion ($1.25-billion) Cavite-Laguna expressway (CALAX) project, after it offered a premium payment higher than San Miguel Holdings Corporation’s P22.20 billion ($496.23 million).
The opening on Tuesday, May 26 of financial offers for the re-bidding of CALAX public-private partnership (PPP) project found MPIC’s MPCALA Holdings, Incorporated willing to pay a higher premium fee of P27.3 billion ($610.38 million).
Premium payment is the amount paid to the government on top of the project cost.
“It seems everything went perfectly already. With P27.3 billion ($610.38 million), it’s more than worth waiting for. MPIC submitted the highest offer, but this is still subject to evaluation,” Public Works Undersecretary for Legal Rafael Yabut told reporters after the opening of financial offers.
The original timetable gives the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 20 days to evaluate financial offers, but the government could announce by next week, Yabut said.
MPCALA Holdings, Incorporated and San Miguel were the only companies that submitted their technical and financial bids for the CALAX project to DPWH on May 19.
“We’re happy. Improved yields of SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) made us more aggressive in our [CALAX bid]. It’s a major toll road, so it’s going to be a profitable one,” MPIC President Jose Ma Lim told reporters on the sidelines of the bidding.
Sought for comment, SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang said he is “okay” with the result of the CALAX bidding “because there was no cheating.”
Ang added SMC will continue to participate in other infrastructure projects that the government will be bidding out. “There is no regret about losing the bid. I rarely regret making a losing bid,” he said.
For this part, Yabut said, “We hope to sign the concession agreement on July 28.”
The troubled PPP toll road includes a minimum bid price of P20.1 billion ($451.54 million) set by the government. This represents the premium that SMC’s unit offered to pay on top of the P35.42-billion ($795.69-million) project cost during the first time it was tendered in June.
The CALAX project was rolled out again in February, after the Office of the President in November ordered DPWH to offer the deal in a new auction round.
Bidder Optimal Infrastructure Development, Incorporated earlier sought President Benigno Aquino III’s intervention after its disqualification on a technicality concerning its bid security.
That June 2 bidding attracted 4 qualified bidders: SMC’s Optimal Infrastructure; MPCALA Holdings; Team Orion of Ayala Corporation and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Incorporated; and MTD Philippines, Incorporated.On February 27, Team Orion and MTD already said they are no longer interested in the CALAX rebid. – Rappler.com
On February 27, Team Orion and MTD already said they are no longer interested in the CALAX rebid. – Rappler.comOn February 27, Team Orion and MTD already said they are no longer interested in the CALAX rebid. – Rappler.com