SMC: P20-B Calax bid superior; but will respect Aquino decision
MANILA, Philippines—San Miguel Corp. maintained Thursday that it should be declared the winning bidder of the P35.4-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAx) by virtue of having submitted the highest bid for the keys toll road project under the government’s public private partnership program.
At the same time, however, the conglomerate said it would respect the decision of President Benigno Aquino III to have the deal rebid in order to resolve the technicality which saw the Department of Public Works and Highways disqualify San Miguel over a typographical error in its documentary submission.
“Our pending appeal is for Malacañang to declare our bid for the CALAx project as compliant and accept our P20.1 billion bid to get this vital infrastructure going,” said Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc., which is the San Miguel unit involved in the deal.
“We support the position of Team Orion (the consortium of the Ayala and Aboitiz groups), which submitted a lower bid of P11. 6 billion, that the project should be awarded to the highest bidder,” Optimal said in a statement.
On Tuesday, President Aquino said he was inclined to have the project rebid, citing the difficulty of explaining to the public why the government would forego almost P9 billion in proceeds should it decide to reject San Miguel’s bid on a mere technicality.
Team Orion has threatened to boycott any rebidding of the project which involves the construction and operation of a 45-kilometer toll highway that will speed up travel between the provinces of Cavite and Laguna.
“This huge undertaking will have a big impact on the country for many years to come and we believe government should have the best options available to it in order to make sure they get the best deal,” Optimal said.
“However, we will respect any decision from Malacañang as far as this matter is concerned, even as we vow to continue to follow the due process of law,” added the San Miguel subsidiary.
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