MPIC wants to join P35.4-B Calax rebid

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METRO Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has renewed its bid bond for the P35.42-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway (Calax) project, indicating its interest in participating in the rebidding of the project.

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“Yes, we renewed our bid bond. We want to play safe. But we want to see the terms first before confirming our participation,” MPTC president Ramoncito Fernandez told reporters Monday night.

A bid bond is issued as part of a supply bidding process by the contractor to the project owner, to guarantee that the winning bidder will undertake the contract under the terms at which they bid.

With MPIC having renewed its bid bond for the Calax project, this could mean it might be competing against San Miguel Corp. subsidiary Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc. (OIDI) in the second round of bidding for Calax.

Earlier, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said that President Benigno Aquino 3rd has ordered a rebidding of the Calax project, setting aside the DPWH’s position that the first auction was in order.

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, 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 Biñan, Laguna. The project is expected to greatly reduce travel time between the two provinces.

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  1. Well, since we’re stuck with a rebid, at least it’s with a company that can go toe-to-toe with SMC. I hope the terms will be favorable enough to ensure fair competition that will hopefully ameliorate some of the stink that came with Noynoy’s decision. Ayala has already dropped out of the race, probably out of disgust. Still, one wonders how investors will feel depending on whether MPIC or SMC wins? Abangan.