Cavite Expressway project bidder may seek deadline extension

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Manila North Tollways Corp., one of the potential bidders for the P35-billion Cavite-Laguna (CALA) Expressway Project may seek an extension of the submission period for the bids after changes were made to the project which the group said would affect its technical proposal.

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Deadline for bids submission for the CALA Expressway project had been set for May 21.

“We are considering requesting an additional time for the bid submission because the changes in the project will have an effect on our technical proposal,” Manila North Tollways Corp. President Rodrigo Franco said in an interview.

“It is not easy to change the technical proposal which is included in the bid submission. Our worry is that we can not meet the deadline,” he added.

The Supplemental Bid Bulletin dated May 6 of the Public-Private Partnership of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) urges bidders to consider showing realignments at different locations in order to define the final alignment of the CALA

Project in their preparation of the Conceptual Engineering Design.

In October 2013, the DPWH said that some entities have submitted their bid documents, namely, Alloy MTD; Team Orion, headed by AC Infrastructure Holding Corp.; Aboitiz, Macquirie Infrastructure Holdings Philippines, Bouygues Travaux, Egis Road Operations and Korea Expressway Corp.; Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp., and Leighton Constructions Philippines; and Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc.

Earlier, San Miguel Corp. said that it would bid for the CALA project. SMC has a controlling interest in the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

Meanwhile, the Ayala Group has vast property projects in Southern Luzon, while Metro Pacific Investments Corp. has invested in Cavitex Holdings Inc., which holds the concession for the Cavite Expressway, the toll road connecting Metro Manila to the province of Cavite.

The CALA project has a 35-year concession period. It is a 27.2-kilometer highway that will connect Bacoor and Dasmariñas in Cavite, link it to the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road in the north to the proposed East-West Cavite-Laguna Expressway in the south.

“It is really the logistics of preparing the technical drawings—two months would suffice. A change in the project’s alignment would cause an impact on our bid, but we are evaluating internally as to the magnitude of the changes,” he said.

“I don’t think it will have an impact on the viability of the project, though,” he added.

As a public-private partnership venture, the winning private bidder would have to assume the financial burden of completing the project.

The government said that private sector investment is expected to contribute to the 5 percent target on public infrastructure spending through public-private partnerships.

Infrastructure spending or capital outlay surged 49.2 percent to P49.8 billion in the first two months of the year, underlying the government’s continuous commitment to rapid, sustainable, and inclusive economic development.

In a statement, the Department of Budget and Management said infra spending in January and February last year totaled only P33.3 billion, or P16.5 billion lower than this year’s level.

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said that the increase in infrastructure spending boosted overall government disbursements to P313 billion in the first two months of the year, or 11 percent higher than the P282 billion recorded during the same period of 2013.

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