Biz Buzz: SCTEx rebidding looms | Inquirer Business

Biz Buzz: SCTEx rebidding looms

/ 03:09 AM August 27, 2012

The group of Manuel V. Pangilinan may have consented to another revision in the contract for the operation and management of the country’s longest expressway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), but this can be all for naught as the Department of Finance is keen on recommending a rebidding of the contract.

Government sources said the DoF would like to rebid the contract with the Metro Pacific group—which originally won the auction shortly before the P-Noy administration took over—to unlock more revenue for the government. The contract was renegotiated in 2011 to improve the government’s share when P-Noy took over but apparently, at terms still unacceptable to the Office of the President, which has not given its imprimatur on the concession.

Not all quarters within the government, however, agreed with the DoF’s leaning toward a rebidding. Our sources said a template was being drawn up to improve the government’s share and the proponents believed this could also optimize state interest in SCTEx. However, it’s now up to the Office of the President on whether to simply overhaul the contract for the second time around or call for a rebidding. MVP’s group also has the option of going to court but it was not likely to risk getting its relationship with the government soured.


If the government takes the latter route, it opens up the opportunity for the frenemy—the San Miguel group of Ramon S. Ang—to take a second crack at SCTEx. To recall, MVP’s group via Manila North Tollroads Corp. was considered the sole eligible bidder for SCTEx in 2010 after rival Northlink Tollway Management (a joint venture between San Miguel Corp. and Star Tollways Corp.) was declared short of the technical requirements.


But while a rebidding of SCTEx may be good for San Miguel, the P-Noy regime’s scrutiny of many infrastructure-building contracts prior to its term may also affect SMC. For instance, the DoF has also sent SMC’s Metro Railway Transit-7 project (from Edsa Quezon Ave. to Bulacan) back to the drawing boards.—Doris C. Dumlao



Despite being an enabler of the digital age, MVP had long resisted getting into the social networking space even as he acknowledged the huge implication of the new media on the telecom empire that he leads. In the past, he told bloggers he was averse to the microblogging platform Twitter because he didn’t want to be “cyber-bullied” like megastar Sharon Cuneta, who got a lot of heckling from fans of Piolo Pascual after the actor’s controversial break-up with KC Concepcion. (Such show-biz tidbits he probably knows because he regularly watches TV5’s TMZ-inspired show-biz talk show “Juicy” every evening before going to bed.)

But this time around, MVP has fully embraced the digital superhighway that Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. itself operates and impeccably timed his Twitter debut last Friday at the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) meeting when he delivered a speech about the digital age. After delivering a number of pick-up lines that made him a trending topic early Friday, he ended with “Hey, I just met you and this is crazy, but here’s my Twitter. Follow me, maybe? @iamMVP.”

It turned out that this Twitter handle has long been taken for him, awaiting the time that the “bossing” is ready to load the Twitter app into his iPhone 4S and engage netizens. And yes, his staffers say he’s fully aware of the “risks.”


By the way, it’s this social networking boom that makes the proposed GMA 7 acquisition crucial for MVP. PLDT does not want to remain only an operator of the “digital highway” but wants to deliver content as well.—Doris C. Dumlao

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TAGS: Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP), Philippines, roads, social media, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), tollway, Twitter

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