The chief of the public works department couldn't be any happier with the turnout of Tuesday's rebidding for the P55.52-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway (Calax) deal, after two parties-prominent names in the business community, for that matter-submitted their proposals for the much-coveted and controversial contract.
Of the four parties that initially expressed their interest in the project, only San Miguel Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) submitted their offers to the Department of Public Works and Highways on Tuesday.
The technical and financial proposals of the two parties, however, were not opened that day. The technical bids are scheduled for opening on Friday, while the financial proposals will be bared on Tuesday next week.
We are just happy to have two bidders for the rebidding, the Cabinet official said in a text message.
He said he hopes to issue the notice of award on July 7, then sign the contract three weeks after. The notice to proceed should then be issued by end-July.
The deal's rebidding is already almost a year in the making. To recall, the results of the initial auction for the deal was declared void by President Aquino, after his uncle's firm sought for a reconsideration of its multibillion-peso bid.
It took the government four months to decide on the petition of San Miguel unit Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc., which sought to overthrow the offer of Team Orion of Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc.
Team Orion emerged as the first auction's top bidder, with a premium bid of P11.33 billion. San Miguel's disqualified bid, on the other hand, carried a P20.1-billion premium. Hence, the rebidding had to require bidders to submit an offer with a minimum premium offer of P20.1 billion.
Ayala Corp. Managing Director John Eric T. Francia said his group only hopes that the project will be a success despite all the issues that hounded it last year. Business groups earlier hit the government for its decision to place the deal under a rebidding, instead of considering the results of the above board initial tender for the contract.
I hope that this will pave the way for this important road to be built soonest, he told the BusinessMirror.
The project is a 47-kilometer thoroughfare that will link the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway and the South Luzon Expressway aimed at enhancing trade and socioeconomic activities in the region.
The private partner will take on the financing, design, construction, and operation and maintenance of the entire four-lane toll road.
The project will also include the construction of centralized toll plazas, a toll-collection system, viaducts and bridges. The road should be operational by 2019, based on an indicative timeline. The government has awarded nine contracts since the infrastructure program's inception in 2010. It aims to sign at least 15 contracts by the time President Aquino steps down from office in 2016.
(c) 2015 Business Mirror Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info)., source Middle East & North African Newspapers