THE PHILIPPINE Ports Authority (PPA) is aiming to make a decision on Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp.’s (CLC) P11.2-billion unsolicited proposal for the development of Sasa port in Davao City before the year ends.
PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago told reporters on Oct. 31 that it has already terminated the planned bidding to rehabilitate the Sasa port, allowing it to consider CLC’s unsolicited proposal submitted in August.
“They submitted, but as part of the process, there has to be a closure of the bidding process previously undertaken by the previous administration, yung sa P19 billion. We only got the approval for the closure of that bidding process about two weeks ago. But concurrently we’re already evaluating the proposal of Chelsea, and we will make a decision whether or not to entertain the unsolicited proposal no later than December this year,” he said.
Mr. Santiago said once approved by the PPA Board, CLC’s proposal would then be passed to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for further evaluation. If it gets the go-ahead, the project will then undergo a Swiss challenge where other companies are invited to submit counterproposals that CLC may match.
CLC president and chief executive officer Chryss Alfonsus V. Damuy previously told reporters the proposal involves rehabilitation of the port facilities and increasing the Sasa port’s capacity over a 25-year concession period.
To recall, the previous administration initially had a P19-billion rehabilitation plan for the Sasa port, but was suspended after the city government and business groups opposed it over the high cost.
The Duterte administration then removed the Sasa Port Modernization Project from the public-private partnership program in December 2016, then reinstated it earlier this year, according to the NEDA regional office in Davao.
Aside from CLC’s proposal for the Sasa port, Mr. Santiago said the PPA also received last month a proposal from terminal operator Kudos Trucking Corp. for the Port of General Santos.
“We’ve received two unsolicited proposals: one is in Davao-Sasa, and another unsolicited proposal for General Santos. The one for General Santos is from Kudos. Kudos Trucking. That is a private terminal operator whose main facility is in Davao also,” he said.
Like CLC’s, Kudos’ proposal is for the rehabilitation and improvement of the port in General Santos, including the installation of new equipment such as cranes.
Mr. Santos said the PPA is only entertaining unsolicited proposals for ports under Tiers 1 and 2, which are identified as ports that handle large volumes.
“So far those are the ports that we’ve identified that if ever we will be entertaining unsolicited proposals for,” he said. — Denise A. Valdez