President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Wednesday said he wants another bidding for the controversial Cavite-Laguna Expressway (Calax) project despite negative reactions from the business sector.
“We are obligated to get the best deal for our people,” President Aquino told reporters in an interview.
He maintained that the P8.4 billion difference in the offer of the winning bidder and the disqualified company is significant, and that the amount could be used to fund construction of government infrastructure, such as socialized housing.
When asked about the rebid’s possible repercussions for the business sector, the President said he would rather take criticisms from investors than be blamed by the people.
“Mamimili na ako kung sino ang magagalit sa akin. Siguro maganda nang magalit sila kaysa ang taumbayan [I will take my pick of whom I prefer to get angry with me. It is better that the people be the ones to get mad at me],” he added.
Business leaders have expressed opposition to the Aquino administration’s inclination to rebid the controversial public-private partnership (PPP) toll road project.
They argued that a Calax rebid could lead to a higher price for the project, and consequently higher tolls.
Calax is an eight-interchange tollway that starts at the Cavite Expressway in Kawit, Cavite, and ends at the Mamplasan Interchange of South Luzon Expressway in Biñan, Laguna.
Team Orion, a joint venture of Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., earlier won the bidding for the PPP project.
Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc., a unit of San Miguel Corp., however questioned Malacañang why it was disqualified from the bidding.
Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson earlier said Optimal Infrastructure was disqualified because it “submitted a defective bid security.”