Monday, October 23, 2017
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Change reaction

business / Columnists
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Change reaction

And everybody thought that the administration of the motorbiking Duterte Harley could hardly wait to carry out…well, “change!”

But based on the questionable public bidding that the airport corporation called MIAA did last month, it could very well be quite a long wait for us down here.

Word went around that our beloved MIAA merely dribbled around the protest that one bidder filed against its BAC, the bids and awards committee.

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MIAA bid out last month the P213-million first phase of its project to improve the taxiways at the Manila airport— the world’s consistently worst airport called Naia.

At the eleventh hour, the admirable BAC managed to force the disqualification of two bidders, namely, E.C. Luna and Pacific Concrete.

That brilliant move thus left a single company, which happened to be the ever-favorite Readycon, as the one and only suitable contractor for the project.

The BAC took issue with the “relevant experience” of the last-minute disqualified bidders, since the project involved some intricate construction of a short taxiway.

Really, now, would such a project be in the realm of technical complexity as a nuclear chain reaction?

Anyway, Pacific Concrete protested the BAC decision—in writing—even mentioning the amount of its bid that the BAC presumably dreaded to see.

It was actually P30 million less than the P213-million budget, compared to the bid of the lone “qualified” bidder Readycon that was only P200,000 less.

Pacific Concrete filed its protest within three days after the bidding. And what was the BAC’s reaction?

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Well, the same BAC that could rule with impunity in rejecting two companies on the very day of the bidding, decided that it would have to refer the whole affair to some MIAA consultants.

Whaaat—do we take it that, under this change-is-coming administration of the motorbiking Duterte Harley, some nameless consultants now make the decisions?

As it turned out, now more than 20 days since the filing of the protest, the poor Pacific Concrete was yet to receive word from the freaking consultants.

In another time and place, this obvious “cooking” would already merit some full blown investigation by the higher-ups. Not here!

From what I have gathered, Pacific Concrete already went straight up to the mother unit of MIAA, the never-do-well DOTr, the Department of Transportation.

The higher-ups told the company to have patience and just wait for the outcome of its protest with the BAC that, in turn, had to wait for the decision of the consultants.

In other words, the DOTr had no business managing its units.

As of last week, by the way, the construction work at the LRT-2 extension project, running from Santolan to Masinag on Marcos highway, was almost done right on schedule. Costing P2.3 billion, the extension would readily serve some 75,000 more passengers for LRT-2 in this traffic-infested metropolis.

But did you notice something weird about the extension? Was I just imagining things, or did it really not have any “station” on the entire stretch? Please do not tell me that the DOTr forgot to put stations along the way.

Anyway, reports said that the head of the BAC is a certain Raul Austria.

Luckily enough for him, only a few months ago, MIAA general manager Eddie Villanueva Monreal moved him from the sleepy corporate affairs to right-where-the-action-is office of the GM.

To show their track record, the bidders would have to submit something like two-inch thick documents.

Pacific Concrete was the subcontractor of all the extension projects in all the terminals at Naia, hired even by the Japanese firms Tokyo Seiki for Naia 2 and Takenaka for Naia 3.

And so did the company have to submit crates of documents to show its track record?

Come to think of it, when the venerable BAC reviewed the documents of the favorite Readycon, its honorable members took only five minutes.

At the same time, for the documents of the disqualified bidders, they needed more than an hour each.

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TAGS: Business, economy, Manila International Airport Authority, MIAA, News
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