MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has given San Miguel Corp. (SMC) more time to clarify its bid for the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) project amid protests from the other bidders.
DPWH Undersecretary Rafael Yabut said SMC's Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc. was given 24 hours to submit more documents on the validity of its bid security for the P35.4 billion public-private partnership (PPP) project.
The DPWH has yet to resolve the issues regarding SMC's bid security raised by the three bidders in the project, namely Malaysia's Alloy MTD Philippines, Team Orion of Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Group, and MPCALA Holdings Inc. of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).
SMC has maintained that its bid is compliant with the bidding rules.
Meanwhile, SMC's Private Infra Development Corp. Mark Dumol questioned the motive of the other bidders.
"Are they intimidated by our financial bid that they now choose to find the tiniest fault in the bid submission? Clearly, the government gets the best price if there are several bidders," Dumol said.
The CALAX project involves the financing, design and construction, operation and maintenance of the four-lane expressway connecting the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the Manila Cavite Tollroad Expressway (Cavitex).
Dumol noted that bidders finding fault in SMC is understandable since the conglomerate has always been known for its aggressive bids in PPP projects, citing the P11 billion offer made by SMC for the P15 billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) expressway.