Gov’t races to award big-ticket PPP before polls
The government is unlikely to extend further the deadline for the auction of the P123-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike project on fears it might not be awarded before President Aquino steps down in 2016.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) already gave the three pre-qualified bidders, backed by Philippine conglomerates and foreign firms, more time to prepare their bids. The new bid submission date was moved to Jan. 7, 2016 from Nov. 6 this year.
DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson said he would keep the new deadline even if a bidder says more time and information are needed.
The Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike is one of the larger PPP deals on offer as it combines a 47-kilometer toll road, flood-control dike and a 700 hectare land reclamation project.
“To me, that’s final,” Singson said, referring to the January submission date.
“Otherwise, we would already be caught by the election ban and people will think we are pushing it too close to the next administration.”
Singson said the ban starts in late March 2016. He said it was also important for the DPWH not to award too close to this date.
“We don’t want to be accused of making these 11th hour deals,” Singson said.
A spokesman of a pre-qualifed bidder, Trident Infrastructure and Development Corp., earlier raised worries about the deal structure of the PPP, which was described as a “complicated” project.
Trident Infrastructure is backed by Ayala Land Inc., Henry Sy’s SM Prime Holdings Inc., Aboitiz Equity Ventures and Andrew Tan’s Megaworld Corp.
The two other bidders are San Miguel Corp. and Alloy Pavi Hanshin LLEDP Consortium, comprised of Malaysia’s MTD Group, South Korea’s Hanshin and the family of former Senator Manuel Villar Jr.
There are also other pending approvals required for the PPP deal. Chief among these is a presidential proclamation that would allow the winning bidder to develop and sell reclaimed land on Laguna Bay.
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.