• Calax rebidding needs NEDA okay

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    The rebidding of the Calax project will have to be approved first by the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) and The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board before it can be processed by the Office of the President, according to Public-Private Partnership Executive Director Cosette Canilao.

    Earlier, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) renewed its bid bond for the Calax project, indicating its interest in participating in the rebidding of the project.

    MPIC is expected to compete against San Miguel Corp. subsidiary Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc. (OIDI) in the second round of bidding for Calax.

    OIDI had been declared the top bidder in the first bidding after submitting a bid of P20.1 billion, but its bid was later disqualified due to a defective bid security.

    Team Orion, the consortium of Aboitiz Land Inc. and Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Inc., was the next highest bidder with a bid of P11.66 billion, but instead of awarding the project to Team Orion, President Aquino ordered a rebidding in response to an appeal filed by OIDI, despite criticism from the business community.

    Besides OIDI and Team Orion, there were two other prequalified bidders that took part in the first bidding held in June this year. These were MPCALA Holdings Inc, which is led by Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC), and MTD Capital Bhd.

    Team Orion expressed disappointment with the president’s decision to rebid the project, but said that in the interest of national progress, it will not stand in the way of the Calax rebid.

    “We expect the rebidding to be conducted swiftly, above board and in line with established bidding procedures in order to ensure that the government obtains the P20 billion it had assumed to gain,” Team Orion said.

    “We can only hope that this vital road network will be built in the soonest possible time. Team Orion holds the view that the country should only move decisively and progressively forward in building the much-needed infrastructure the Filipino people deserve,” it added.

    Team Orion had earlier filed a motion with the Office of the President urging Aquino to settle the Calax stalemate by either accepting or dismissing OIDI’s appeal so that the bid process can be completed.

    In its motion, Team Orion reiterated its position that OIDI’s appeal should be dismissed and that the DPWH’s decision disqualifying OIDI from the Calax bid must be upheld “on the grounds that OIDI’s bid was not only deficient but was also not reviewed for technical compliance.”

    The Calax project is a 44.6-kilometer road project south of Metro Manila that is part of the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) program. Private investors will finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the expressway project.

    The project starts from the Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) in Kawit, Cavite
    and ends at the Mamplasan interchange of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) in Biñan, Laguna. The project is expected to greatly reduce travel time between the two provinces.

    Meanwhile, Canilao said that Friday ICC meeting at least 8 PPP projects are up for approval of the NEDA Board.

    The 8 PPP projects are–Motor Vehicle Inspection System Project their biggest PPP project in the pipeline for next year; North-South Railway Project (South Line) and the Mass Transit System Loop worth around P177 billion; Calax rebidding; Nlex-Slex connector road parameters (unsolicited); Philippine Statistic Analysis Commuter System (Civil Registry System-IT) NAIA Development Project and the LRT-1 Dasmarinas Extension Project.

    Canilao added, “NEDA Board meeting we hope to have one after the Popes visit next year. Wala ng panahon. Hopefully within the first half of next month.”

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