Gov't denies Ayala imposed conditions in MRT-LRT e-card bid

By Coco Alcuaz, ANC

Posted at Jan 28 2014 09:23 PM | Updated as of Jan 29 2014 05:23 AM

MANILA – Government has denied SM group's statements that the Metro Pacific-Ayala group bid for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT)-Light Rail Transit (LRT) e-card system has conditions which make SM's Group superior.

Public-Private Partnership Center executive director Cosette Canilao said both Ayala and SM submitted unconditional bids accepting all the terms set forth by the government.

"All bids that were opened were unconditional, meaning the bidders agreed to all the terms and conditions set forth in the rules and concession agreement," Canilao said.

SM insists the Metro Pacific-Ayala group imposed conditions.

"The argument is, not to look at present value only but to look into all terms and conditions. We believe we're more superior because our bid has no condition at all. We don't set conditions that ridership should reach so many hundreds of millions. Ours is whether it reached one million or even no ridership, we pay upfront," SM Prime president Hans Sy said at the sidelines of the opening of the SM Mega Fashion Hall.

The government said it has been deferring the award since the December 9 bidding in order to look into questions like this.

SM bid P1.88 billion for the project while the Metro Pacific-Ayala group bid just P100,000 higher.

The winner would get a head start in recruiting e-card users, probably benefiting the Ayala group's BPI and the SM group's BDO.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), meanwhile, has yet to award the contract for the P17.5 billion Mactan-Cebu airport project because of protests from Filinvest.