FOUR prequalified bidders for the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (Calax) project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) submitted Monday their respective technical proposals for the 44.6-kilometer road project south of Metro Manila.
The toll road project is part of the national government’s public-private partnership (PPP) program.
Private investors will finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the expressway project which has an estimated investment value of P35.42 billion.
The project starts from the Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) in Kawit, Cavite and ends at the Mamplasan interchange of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) in Binan, Laguna.
Four prequalified bidders — MPCALA Holdings Inc, which is led by Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC); MTD Capital Bhd.; Optimal Infrastructure Development Corp. of San Miguel Corp. and Team Orion of the Ayala Corp.; and Aboitiz Land Inc.— submitted their proposals or technical bid documents for the road project.
On May 13, the DPWH moved the bid submission deadline by more than a week for the CALAX project because prospective bidders wanted additional time to prepare their offers.
In a bid bulletin, the DPWH said it extended the bid submission for CALAX to June 2 from its original deadline on April 21, which was also later moved to May 21.
MPTDC earlier said it requested an extension after DPWH issued changes in the technical design of the project. MPTDC is a subsidiary of listed Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).
The DPWH said that following the submission of bid documents, the DPWH special bids and awards committee (SBAC) headed by Undersecretary Rafael Yabut, assisted by the technical working group, will review the legal and technical proposals and determine compliance with the requirements.
DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson has instructed the SBAC to subsequently schedule the submission and opening date of the financial offer for bidders with compliant technical proposals.
The DPWH said the financial documents will be opened on Friday.
“The technical proposal and the legal, tatlong envelopes pa yung bubuksan, [we have three envelopes to open]the legal and the technical and then after we evaluate the technical and the legal, kung compliant sila [if they are compliant]then we will open the third envelope which is the financial,” Singson said.
“The financial obviously cannot be opened today, alam nila yun, [they know that], that’s why we announced earlier we will issue a bid bulletin to the bidders and we hope to be able to open the financial [envelopes]by Friday,” he added.
The project will connect Cavite and Laguna directly, greatly reducing travel time between the two provinces.
The two highly industrialized and urbanized provinces are home to hundreds of international and mutinational electronic, semiconductor, automotive and manufacturing companies in addition to residential developments.
Asked when they expect the bidding process to be completed, Singson said: “Well, hopefully this month, when they comply with the technical and legal proposal. All we do is the financial isang numero lang naman ang pinaglalabanan diyan, [only one number matters], either pinakamababa sa government subsidy [the lowest government subsidy]or they will submit an upfront payment to the government, katulad din nung mga nakaraan natin, [just like in prior biddings]so within the same day we will know,” Singson said.
“I don’t know, I don’t see the bids until Friday so we hope they do an aggressive bid but I think they packaged it properly in the sense that it is exciting to the property developers as well as to toll operators,” he added.