Airport project gets 7 bidders

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The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said on Thursday that all seven prequalified groups are bidding for the P17.5-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) project—the first public-private partnership (PPP) airport project under the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

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“The high turnout is proof that investors are confident in our PPP program. We want to sustain the momentum from this project to the next ones in our pipeline,” said Michael Arthur Sagcal, spokesperson for DOTC.

DOTC said that the big number of parties interested in the MCIA project is a good indication of the private sector’s level of interest in the department’s PPP initiative. The MCIA project will modernize the country’s second-largest aviation hub with the construction of a new world-class international passenger terminal building (PTB) that will have an eight-million annual passenger capacity.

The project will also renovate the existing PTB, which has been operating at overcapacity with 6.7 million passengers going through the structure in 2012. Last week, the DOTC’s P1.72-billion Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) project garnered the highest number of bidders for a PPP project before MCIA bid submission, with five groups participating in that tender.

The DOTC is now evaluating the technical proposals submitted for both the AFCS and MCIA projects, and is targeting to proceed with the opening and evaluation of financial proposals next month.

Meanwhile, the bidding process for the P64.9-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite Extension (LRT-1 Cavex) PPP project will begin next week, when the transport agency will publish its invitation to bid.

The DOTC also obtained the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority to improve the project’s economic terms, and announced that it intends to conduct the bidding for the railway project in the second quarter of 2014 to allow new players to participate.

“We’d like the number of LRT-1 Cavex bidders to be more or less in the range of the MCIA and AFCS projects. This will encourage more competitive proposals, which will be good for government,” Sagcal said.

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