Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya on Tuesday said the awarding of the multibillion-peso Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) management and expansion contract is likely to take place next week but he has no idea which firm will get it.
In an interview after the Senate public service committee hearing on the MCIA bidding issue, Abaya said that the bids and awards committee (BAC) is expected to finish its verification process on the issues raised by the Filinvest-Changi against the Megawide-GMR consortium, the group that emerged as the top bidder for the contract.
Megawide-GMR has offered the highest bid of P14.4 billion as upfront payment to the government for the rights to handle the operation of the MCIA for 25 years, beating Filivest-Changi consortium that offered P13.9 billion.
“We’re looking on it, we’re finding out, we’re researching, verifying all the issues raised and we intend to close before we push through with the awarding within this month,” said the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) secretary.
Abaya said the DOTC intends to meet the target because many are interested to see the start of the project and it won’t do the country any good if there will be a further delay in the awarding of contract.
Sen. Serge Osmeña 3rd, for his part expressed no objection on the scheduled awarding of the MCIA project this month; He, however, reminded DOTC that it should make the right decision or he will take them to court.
Osmeña said he is serious of planning to sue the DOTC once it makes a wrong decision in the awarding.
The senator noted that the MCIA project is a huge contract and he will not allow the project to suffer the same fate as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 contract which was awarded to the Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco).
Osmena insisted that the DOTC-BAC failed to exercise due diligence in checking the backgrounds of the participating bidders and just relied on the documents submitted by the firms which are usually “doctored” in order for the company to look good.
Top bidder Megawide-GMR consortium has been claiming that it went through the process and was able to comply with all the requirement set by the DOCT-BAC for them to qualify as bidder.
The company also insisted that the issues raised by the Filinvest group are baseless and has no merit intended to further delay the awarding of the contract.
Gov. Hilario Davide 3rd of Cebu told the senate panel that the main concern of the Cebuano people is for the project to push through because the province needs it especially with the scheduled international summit next year.
He added that most of the businessmen in Cebu have said that if there is already a winning bidder on the project, it should be awarded immediately.