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By Chrisee J. V. Dela Paz, Reporter

Final showdown looms
on transport PPP

Posted on January 12, 2015

THE TRANSPORTATION department has accepted technical proposals of Filinvest Land, Inc. and Megawide Construction Corp. subsidiary MWM Terminals to build, transfer to the government and operate (BTO) a transport hub in southern Metro Manila, paving the way for an earlier-than-planned opening of financial offers, officials said on Saturday.

“Both have passed. We opened the technical proposals last Thursday,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya replied via text when asked for updates on the bidding for the Integrated Transport System-Southwest (ITS-Southwest) Terminal public-private partnership (PPP) project.

The Department of Transportation and Communications’ (DoTC) Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) last Jan. 8 opened and started the evaluation of the technical proposals of the two qualified bidders.

“The BAC is now targeting to open the financials on Tuesday. Then a few days after that is the announcement of the winning proponent,” Transportation Spokesperson Michael Arthur C. Sagcal in a separate text message.

The department’s approval of the bidders’ technical proposals cut short a 15-day period planned earlier for such clearance.

Of 16 investor groups that bought bid documents for the P2.5-billion 35-year ITS-Southwest Terminal BTO deal, only Filinvest Land and Megawide submitted qualification papers, technical offers and financial bids last Dec. 22.

The ITS-Southwest Terminal project -- to be built on a 4.59-hectare site near the Manila-Cavite Expressway -- is meant to give commuters from the Cavite side access to various transport modes, including the future Light Rail Transit Line 1 South Extension.

This is the second time Filinvest Land and Megawide will do battle for a PPP deal. The Filinvest-Changi consortium lost to the GMR-Megawide consortium in the November 2013 auction for the P17.5-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport deal that was awarded to the latter in April last year.

Megawide and Filinvest have also expressed interest in the first water PPP deal of the government, which is the P24.4-billion Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project.

The ITS-Southwest Terminal Project is the first of its kind to be auctioned off by the government.

Besides ITS-Southwest Terminal, DoTC is also looking at building similar integrated transport hubs in northern and another part of southern Metro Manila.

In November last year, four firms sought to qualify to bid for the P4-billion contract to build an integrated transport hub near the Food Terminal, Inc. compound in Taguig City: Filinvest Land, Inc. and MWM Terminals, as well as Ayala Land, Inc. and Datem, Inc.

A pre-bid conference will be held “within the month,” while deadline for technical and financial bids will be in April, Mr. Sagcal said via text on Saturday.