TWENTY local and foreign companies have expressed interest in bidding for the construction of the P122.81-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway-Dike, the government’s biggest public-private partnership (PPP) project to date, an indication that the administration’s flagship program remains attractive to investors.
“The Laguna Lakeshore Expressway-Dike (LLED) Project has already attracted at least 20 bidders,” said Cosette Canilao, PPP Center executive director.
The 20 potential bidders include Ayala Land Inc., Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., Muhibbah Engineering BhD of Malaysia, JV Power and Wealth Corp., Megaworld, Minerales Industrias Corp., GT Capital, Leighton Contractors of Australia, Egis Projects S.A. of France, LT Group, Laguna Lakeshore Consortium (D.M. Wenceslao Group), Filinvest Land, Macquarie Securities (Phil.) Inc., San Miguel Corporation, Megawide Construction Corp., Aboitiz Equity Ventures, JG Summit Holdings, PT Star Line of Indonesia, State Properties Corp., and Alloy MTD-Hashin-Vista Land Consortium.
The government commissioned a renowned international law firm and project advisory company as transaction advisor in the procurement of the project which is the auspices of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Through the PPP Center’s Project Development and Monitoring Facility (PDMF), Jones Day of the United States was engaged to conduct due diligence review of the project feasibility study, manage the project’s bidding process, prepare PPP transaction documents and provide advisory support to DPWH.
Jones Day is an international law firm with 41 offices worldwide and is considered as the third largest law firm in the world. Jones Day will provide PPP transaction advisory support to DPWH together with its sub-consultants ARC Developments International Pty Ltd. of Australia, Jacobs Engineering Group of USA, Puno and Puno Law Offices, and Engineering Development Corp. of the Philippines.
DPWH announced earlier that interested companies have until October 16 to submit pre-qualification documents for the LLED project.
The LLED project has an estimated concession period of 37 years, inclusive of seven years for design and construction and 30 years for operation and maintenance. It will be financed mainly by private capital with no government subsidy, except for the right-of-way costs.
The inter-agency Investment Coordination Committee of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-ICC) has approved the project, which involves building an expressway and dike that would encircle Laguna de Bay.
The project aims to provide a high-standard highway that will speed up traffic between the southern part of Metro Manila and Laguna, as well as a dike that would mitigate flooding in the western coastal communities along Laguna Lake. The proposed alignment runs 500 meters off the shoreline of Laguna Lake.
The project has two components: a road dike and land reclamation. A 47-kilometer flood control dike, on top of which will be a high speed six-lane expressway, will be constructed.
The expressway-dike will run on a mainly offshore alignment at least 500 meters away from the western shoreline of Laguna Lake, including pumping stations and floodgates. It will start at Taguig, pass through Muntinlupa and Calamba, and end in Los Banos at its boundary with Bay, Laguna.
The project’s second component is the reclamation of about 700 hectares of foreshore and offshore areas, west of the dike, in Taguig and Muntinlupa, for mixed land uses. This component will support the private financing for the construction of the entire project, especially the expressway-dike.
When the project is completed, it will protect more than 200,000 households or around a million residents living in low-lying communities and save billions of pesos in damage costs to more than 5,000 factories and commercial establishments affected by yearly flooding.
It will also improve the environmental condition of the Laguna Lake, promote economic activities, and provide opportunities for developing new business and residential district in the reclaimed areas.
The PDMF is a revolving pool of funds from the Philippine Government and the Government of Australia under a Capacity Development Technical Assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The PDMF is being used to engage project preparation and transaction support consultants to develop a robust pipeline of viable and well-prepared PPP projects.
To date, the PDMF has provided funding support to a total of 39 projects. Five out of seven successfully awarded PPP projects were PDMF-supported, namely the Department of Education’s School Infrastructure Program I and II, the Department of Health’s modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center, and the Department of Transportation and Communications’ automatic fare collection system and Mactan-Cebu International Airport new passenger terminal projects. Rosalie C. Periabras