THE GOVERNMENT yesterday rolled out its biggest public-private partnership (PPP) project, thus far, inviting parties to bid for a P122.8-billion ($2.73-billion) undertaking that will address flooding and facilitate traffic flow along the western shore of Laguna Lake, from Taguig City in Metro Manila to Los Baños, Laguna.
An invitation to pre-qualify to bid for the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway-Dike deal, published in newspapers yesterday, showed the project consists of two parts, namely:
• construction of a 47-kilometer flood control dike — on top of which will be a six-lane expressway — from Taguig City to Los Baños for about P64.914 billion; and
• reclamation of 700 hectares west of the expressway-dike for about P57.897 billion “to… create opportunities for developing a new business and residential area on reclaimed land, to enhance regional and urban development”.
Ariel C. Angeles, a member of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) Special Bids and Awards Committee, said via text yesterday that the “design, build, operate and maintain” contract will have a 37-year term.
A June 24 posting on the DPWH Web site said the government has allotted P2.1 billion for right-of-way acquisition for the project. Right-of-way acquisition is targeted to be completed between March 2015 and Feb. 2016.
Mr. Angeles said last July 28 that interested parties can start buying pre-qualification bid documents today for a non-refundable fee of P200,000.
The invitation published yesterday said pre-qualification documents should be submitted by 1 p.m. on Oct. 16.
Public Works Secretary Rogelio L. Singson reiterated by text yesterday that the department was looking to bid out the project this December. A concession agreement is targeted to be signed by March 2015, with construction to start late next year and finish in 2021, Mr. Singson had said in June.
Auction for the deal will consist of two stages: the first that will qualify interested parties to submit proposals based on minimum legal, technical and financial requirements set by DPWH, as well as the bidding stage itself.
Six firms that participated in previous PPP project auctions have expressed interest.
Top officials of four of them confirmed interest via separate text messages yesterday.
“Yes, we are interested as it is one big and important project,” Louie B. Ferrer, Megawide Construction Corp. vice-president for Marketing and chief information officer, replied.
MTD Philippines, Inc. President Isaac S. David said: “We’ll look at the Laguna de Bay expressway if we can find a suitable real estate developer partner.”
Erramon I. Aboitiz, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. president and chief executive officer, said: “We continue to be on the lookout for public-private partnership infrastructure projects that make sense to us and support our country’s economic growth. We intend to seize growth opportunities among the P900 billion worth of PPP projects the government has yet to roll out.”
Noel Eli B. Kintanar, executive vice-president of Ayala Corp.’s AC Infrastructure Holdings, Corp., said: “We will study the project when it [terms] is released by the DPWH and decide afterwards.”
Top officials of two other firms had earlier confirmed interest.
San Miguel Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang last July 8 told reporters that the company “will participate in all public bidding of PPP projects of the national government”, while Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. President Ramoncito S. Fernandez said at the sidelines of a conference in Makati City last June 17 that his firm is “interested” in the “very ambitious project.”
The project is the latest offered to investors under the government’s flagship infrastructure program, which has suffered some delays since its late-2010 launch.
Seven PPP projects have been awarded, so far: P2.01-billion Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway Link Road; P15.52-billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway; P16.42-billion first phase of the PPP for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP); PSIP’s P8.80-billion second phase; P5.69-billion Philippine Orthopedic Center modernization; P1.72-billion Automatic Fare Collection System; and P17.52-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport Passenger Terminal Building.
Five others have been rolled out: P2.5-billion Integrated Transport System (ITS) Project-Southwest Terminal; P4-billion ITS Project-South Terminal; P24.4-billion Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project; P35.42-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway.; and P64.9-billion LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension Operation & Maintenance.
Written by: Chrisee J. V. Dela Paz