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San Miguel asks Malacañang to intervene in Cavite expressway bid

Posted On 2014 Jul 07
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President Benigno Aquino III in a briefing of the propose Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) at Iloilo Bussiness Park,Brgy Old Airport, Mandurriao District Iloilo City on friday (June 27) in Photo Are Senate Pres. Franklin Drillon and DPWH Sec. Rogelio Singson  . Photo by: Ryan Lim/ Malacanang Photo Bureau

President Benigno Aquino III in a briefing of the propose Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) at Iloilo Bussiness Park,Brgy Old Airport, Mandurriao District Iloilo City on friday (June 27) in Photo Are Senate Pres. Franklin Drillon and DPWH Sec. Rogelio Singson . Photo by: Ryan Lim/ Malacanang Photo Bureau

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – After it was disqualified from the bidding process, San Miguel Corp is asking Malacañang to reconsider its offer to build and operate the P34.5-billion Cavite Laguna Expressway (CALAX) Project of the government.

In a 37-page memorandum appeal to Malacanang, San Miguel’s unit, Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc, (OIDI) asked President Benigno Aquino III to set aside the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) resolution that barred the company from bidding for the project and declare its bid security and proposal as compliant.

The DPWH disqualified OIDI because of a defective bid security.

In addition, OIDI wants Malacanang to accept its financial bid by way of “judicial notice” – amounting to P20.105 billion in concession payment—as officially opened. Its bid was higher than the P11.65 billion offered by the Aboitiz-Ayala consortium.

Moreover, OIDI said the DPWH Appellees’ decision to disqualify OIDI from the bidding process “needlessly prejudices” private participation in public infrastructure projects just because of an “inadvertent and harmless typographical error (which was later on clarified and corrected).”

“As such, this decision defeats the constitutional policy of encouraging private sector participation in national development, as well as the declared policy of the Amended BOT Law. This Honorable Office should not allow this blatant error to remain uncorrected,” OIDI said, pertaining to the build-operate-transfer law.

The company also said that DPWH “committed serious legal error and acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction,” when it decided to disqualify OIDI from the CALAX project bidding despite its submission of “complete and substantially responsive documents.”

It also said the DPWH “arbitrarily ignored the clarifications submitted, even though they requested for the same, reveals that manifest partially against petitioner [OIDI].”

To recall, OIDI informed DPWH’s Special Bids and Awards Committee that the alleged inconsistency in its bid security was a mere typographical error and its issuing bank, ANZ confirmed that the expiry date should be indicated as November 29 instead of November 25, 2014.

The appeal was received by DPWH, Public Private Partnership (PPP) Center last June 27.

No awarding

Sought for comment, Cosette Canilao, executive director of PPP Center said there would be “no awarding until the appeal [of OIDI] is resolved.”

The CALAX project involves the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of a four-lane, 47-kilometer closed-system toll expressway connecting the Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX) and the Southern Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

The expressway will start from the CAVITEX in Kawit, Cavite and end at the SLEX-Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.

The project will have interchanges in nine locations, namely Kawit, Daang Hari, Governor’s Drive, Aguinaldo Highway, Silang, Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay, Laguna Boulevard, Technopark, and a toll barrier before SLEX.

Upon completion, the CALAX is envisioned to decongest traffic along the Cavite-Laguna road network, reducing the travel time from Metro Manila to the CALA area and back.

CALAX is the DPWH’s third infrastructure project under the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) program. The first project, the Daang Hari-SLEX, was awarded to the Ayala group, while the second, the NAIA Expressway, went to Optimal Infrastructure. (MNS)

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