THE GOVERNMENT said it has relaxed the eligibility rules for companies seeking to participate in the auction for the operations and management (O&M) contract of the Clark International Airport.
The bidding qualifications released in May required prospective bidders to not have “a majority equity interest in a concession holder of an International Airport in the Philippines,” which would have eliminated a major construction company that runs the airport in Cebu as part of a consortium.
Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President Vivencio B. Dizon said in a briefing on Wednesday that the eligibility terms have since been relaxed, which opens the door to companies such as Megawide Construction Corp., which operates the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
“That was in the original terms of reference, but we have already adjusted that. And Megawide, if it wants to, can join the bid. They are not disqualified,” he said.
Mr. Dizon said the new terms of reference now rule out companies currently operating such airports within the same main island group.
“So meaning, if you’re operating an airport in Luzon, then you cannot have another major airport in the same island group. Obviously Cebu is not part of Luzon where Clark is, so Megawide can participate,” he added.
The Department of Transportation (DoTr) and BCDA are currently bidding out the 25-year, P5.61-billion contract for the O&M of the Clark International Airport. The development of the gateway in Pampanga aims to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Metro Manila.
Megawide, along with its Indian consortium partner GMR Infrastructure Ltd. won the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Clark airport in December 2017. The hybrid public-private partnership structure being tested for the Clark airport separates the contracts for EPC and O&M.
BCDA said in May that eight companies bought bid documents for the O&M contract — Megawide-GMR; Metro Pacific Investments Corp.; Filinvest Development Corp.; San Miguel Holdings Corp.; Prime Asset Ventures, Inc.; the Central Luzon Infrastructure Consultancy, Inc. consortium; GVK Airport Developers Ltd.; and Groupe ADP.
Around 30 groups also attended the pre-bid conference for the project held on May 21, including Udenna Corp.; JG Summit Holdings, Inc.; Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc.; PAL Express and AirAsia Group.
The preliminary timeline for the project indicates a target for contract awarding and signing on Aug. 30, but Mr. Dizon said on Wednesday the BCDA will accept bids until late August.
“Government will just accept whatever bids are finally submitted by the deadline (in late August),” he said.
The O&M concession is due to start on Dec. 1 for the current passenger terminal. The new terminal is scheduled to open in July 2020. — Denise A. Valdez