SMC says ‘fully compliant’ in Calax bid
MANILA, Philippines — Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) on Thursday said that its bid for the P35.4-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway (Calax) complies fully with the government’s requirements, amid a move by a rival business group to have it disqualified.
“We are compliant. We have a very competitive bid and we are confident we can give government the best deal for the benefit of the taxpayers and the country,” said Raoul Romulo, who represents SMC’s Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc.
The statement was issued after Metro Pacific Investment Corp. asked the bids and awards committee of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to disqualify SMC because the bid bond it submitted was ostensibly valid only for 176 days, instead of the 180 days the government had specified.
Earlier, however, Australian banking giant ANZ wrote DPWH to certify that Optimal’s bid security was indeed valid and effective for 180 days from June 2, 2014 until November 29, 2014, instead of November 25, 2014.
Romulo said the issues raised by its competitors for the project are insignificant and do not change the overall financial bid.
Two of the rival bidders have also complained about the packaging, sealing and labeling of Optimal’s boxes containing the bid proposal.
To this, Romulo countered that “all our boxes were similarly packed.”
“This, among the other issues they are raising, is immaterial to the outcome of the final bid,” the Optimal official explained. “Let’s not waste our energy pulling each other down but rather focus on the more important matter which is the financial proposal and who can offer the best deal on the table. That is the essence of the whole competitive bidding process. We want our countrymen to get the best price from several, not a few bidders.”
The Calax public-private partnership program is envisioned to be a 47-kilometer toll road that would connect the end of the Cavite Expressway in Kawit, Cavite to the South Luzon Expressway’s Mamplasan Exit in Biñan, Laguna.
Apart from SMC and MPIC, Malaysian infrastructure firm MTD Bhd and a consortium of the Ayala and Aboitiz groups had also joined the bidding. The technical components of the bids were opened last Monday, while the financial components are scheduled to be unsealed Friday.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.