Davao Sasa port project delayed anew
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) pushed back anew the bid submission deadline for the Davao Sasa Port Modernization deal, the latest in a string of delays concerning its other public private partnership projects.
The DOTC also pushed back the bid submission of the regional airports PPP project by up to 30 days, apart from the pre-qualification deadline for the North South Commuter railway deal to April 15 this year.
In a bid bulletin dated March 22, 2016, the DOTC said the bid submission deadline for the P19-billion Davao Sasa project was moved from March 28 to a date up to 30 days after securing final clearances from “concerned” government agencies.
The seaport project, which has faced stiff opposition from Davao-based business groups, has lured at least five interested bidders.
These are San Miguel Holdings Corp.-APM Terminals Management (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. Consortium, Enrique Razon Jr.’s International Container Terminal Services Inc., Asian Terminals Inc.-DP World FZE Consortium, Portek International Pte. Ltd.-National Marine Corp. Consortium and Bollore Africa Logistics.
The private partner is expected to finance the construction and modernization of the existing port. The winner will also be responsible for operating and maintaining the port for 30 years.
The PPP Center, the main government coordinating body for these projects, downplayed delays faced by implementing agencies.
In a statement, the PPP Center said the government was “still pushing” to award the regional airports (Bacolod-Silay, Iloilo, Davao, Laguindingan, New Bohol) and Davao Sasa deals before President Aquino steps down in the middle of the year.
The government also wants to award the regional prison project, which calls for the construction of a new prison facility in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija. That PPP deal is being implemented by the Department of Justice.
“The DOJ and DOTC 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,” PPP Center executive director Andre Palacios said.
The PPP Center chief expressed concern about the postponements, citing strong reasons for continuing the bidding for the seven PPP projects.
“We are mindful that postponement in procurement will mean delay in delivery of public services,” he added.
PPP projects are not covered by the election ban, which will last from March 25 to May 8 this year. The Commission on Elections en banc confirmed this in its resolution issued on Jan. 19, 2016.
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