Metro Pacific calls Swiss challenge for SCTEX 'grossly unfair'

By Coco Alcuaz, ANC

Posted at Feb 19 2014 06:10 PM | Updated as of Feb 20 2014 08:38 PM

MANILA – Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. on Wednesday said the government's reported push to bid out the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) contract it won in 2010 is "grossly unfair."

While Metro Pacific won the contract at the end of the Arroyo administration, it has agreed to revise its terms as many as three times under the Aquino administration.

The government is now reportedly pushing for a so-called Swiss challenge, where other companies have the chance to top the Metro Pacific offer after which Metro Pacific can either match the best offer and finally win the contract or walk away.

Metro Pacific Tollways President Ramoncito Fernandez said this would be unfair and without legal basis.

He stressed that the firm is ready to implement the contract to operate, maintain and improve SCTEX.

"We were told that the President already liked our third improvement but he wants to subject it to a Swiss challenge. We find this grossly unfair and without legal basis. We have been waiting for years already so we want to execute the contract,” said Fernandez.

Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) chairman Arnel Casanova, meanwhile, declined to comment on reports of a Swiss challenge, saying his office has yet to receive an official instruction from the Office of the President.

“We will follow whatever the OP will order us to do,” he said.