• 2016 polls not to affect airport projects – DOTC

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    IMPLEMENTATION of five provincial airport projects worth a total of P108.2 billion will not be affected by the 2016 national elections, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said.

    In a DOTC bid bulletin, the prequalification bids and awards committee (PBAC) said it expects no delays in the implementation of the five airport projects despite the upcoming 2016 presidential and national elections.

    The DOTC bundled the five regional airport projects into two contracts which the government is aiming to award by March 2016.

    Under bundle 1 are the Bacolod-Silay International Airport with a project cost of P20.26 billion and the Iloilo International Airport with a project cost of P30.4 billion.

    Packaged under bundle 2 are the Laguindingan Airport with a project cost of P14.62 billion, the Davao International Airport with a project cost of P40.57 billion, and the New Bohol (Panglao) Airport with a project cost of P2.34 billion.

    In a bulletin, PBAC said that the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center is currently obtaining confirmation from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) about this matter.

    The matter was brought up by one of the potential bidders whether the projects will be affected by the upcoming national elections.

    Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code prohibits the release, disbursement or expenditure of public funds 45 days before a regular election and 30 days before a special election for “any and all kinds of public works.”

    However, the prohibition exempts “work undertaken by contract through public bidding held, or by negotiated contract awarded, before the forty-five day period before election.”

    In April, DOTC said that at least five major Philippine companies have expressed interest to offer bids for the development, operation and maintenance of five airport projects in different parts of the country.

    The five prospective bidders were identified as the consortium of the Metro Pacific Investment Corp. and JG Summit; San Miguel Corp.; GMR-Megawide; Philippine Skylanders Inc. and Aboitiz.

    The contracts include the operation and maintenance of the airport, expansion of the passenger terminal building, apron, airside and landside facilities, and capacity augmentation to meet future demands.

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