Government to award seven more PPPs by June

Posted on March 23, 2016

THE GOVERNMENT remains steadfast in awarding seven more public-private partnerships (PPP) before the next administration takes over, according to the PPP Center, despite the recent postponements in the bidding of such projects.

File photo of Davao Sasa port
In a statement issued yesterday, PPP Center Executive Director Andre C. Palacios cited “strong reasons” to pursue the awarding of the bundled five regional airports, Davao seaport, regional prison and four other PPP projects by June 30.

“The DoJ (Department of Justice) and DoTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) have worked hard to bring the procurement process very close to completion. The PPP Center is ready to help the DoJ and DoTC make the final push to complete the process by June 30,” Mr. Palacios said.

The DoJ reset the bid submission for the P50.2-billion regional prison to April 20 from March 22. The contract covers the three-year construction of the facility and its maintenance for the next 20 years.

San Miguel Holdings Corp., Megawide Construction Corp.-led Mega Structures Consortium and DMCI Holdings, Inc. have prequalified to bid for the project located at the Fort Magsaysay military reservation in Nueva Ecija.

The DoTC, meanwhile, extended the deadline of bid submission for the bundled five regional airport projects and the Davao seaport project to an unspecified date from March 28, according to the statement.

The DoTC has yet to release a copy of the contract for the P108.19-billion contracts to develop, operate and maintain the Bacolod-Silay Airport, Iloilo Airport, Davao Airport, Laguindingan Airport and New Bohol Airport, prompting the postponement of the bid submission.

Five groups were qualified to join the bidding: the Filinvest-Jatco-Sojitz Consortium; the GMR Infrastructure and Megawide Consortium; the Maya Consortium; the Philippine Airports Consortium; and the SMHC-IIAC Airports Consortium.

The seaport PPP project, meanwhile, involves the modernization of the Davao Sasa Port. San Miguel Holdings Corp.-APM Terminals Management (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., Razon-led International Container Terminal Services, Inc., the Asian Terminals Inc.-DP World FZE Consortium, and Bollore Africa Logistics are bidding for the P18.99-billion contract.

“We are mindful that postponement in procurement will mean delay in delivery of public services. Four factors together strongly justify completing the bidding for the DoJ and DoTC projects,” Mr. Palacios said.

“First, the projects were properly reviewed and approved in 2014. Second, they have been going through a fair, transparent and credible procurement process for over a year now,” he added.

“Third, the government has complied with all legal requirements, and has spent valuable resources to develop, approve and procure the projects. Fourth, there is genuine competition among serious bidders, both local and foreign, which will produce the best deal for Government.”

The PPP chief further cited the need to award the projects in order for the next administration to begin the construction of “better” public infrastructure.

“Bilibid inmates live in overcrowded, dehumanizing conditions. They urgently need facilities conducive to their reformation. A modern seaport in Davao will allow Mindanao farm products to reach the global market,” the statement read.

“Further, in a few years, air passengers will experience NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport)-type congestion in Iloilo, Bacolod, Bohol, Davao and Laguindingan airports. Expansion of these regional airports is necessary to avoid the expected congestion,” it added.

The government is also in the process of bidding out the the P122.8-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project, the P65.09-billion Light Rail Transit Line 6, the operation and maintenance of the Light Rail Line 2 and the P170.7-billion South Line of the North-South Railway Project.

In a resolution issued Jan. 19, the Commission on Elections has confirmed the exemption of PPP projects from the election ban on awarding government contracts starting March 25.

Under the Aquino administration, the government has thus far awarded 12 PPP contracts worth P217.4 billion in total. -- K. R. D. Mariano