Ayala-Aboitiz tandem wants SMC's CALAX appeal junked


Posted at Jul 21 2014 04:38 PM | Updated as of Jul 22 2014 12:38 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The tandem of Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Land Inc. is seeking the dismissal of an appeal filed by San Miguel Corp. in relation to its disqualification from the bidding of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) project.

Team Orion, composed of AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and Aboitiz Land, submitted a comment on San Miguel’s appeal before the Office of the President to express their objection to issues raised by rival San Miguel.

“We believe that nobody or no entity should ever be allowed to undermine the bidding process. There are rules and procedures that must be followed in a public bidding. If we do not follow it, and if we let errant participants act outside of the rules of a public bidding process, then the whole process will lose credibility," Team Orion spokesperson Roman Azanza III said in a statement.

San Miguel’s Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc. was disqualified from the bidding of the CALAX project due to its failure to comply with bidding requirements.

San Miguel claimed that it had it not been disqualified, it would have offered the highest bid amount of P20. 1 billion.

But in its comment, Team Orion stressed that the winner in a public bidding is not merely the bidder with the highest bid amount, but rather the bidder with the "highest complying bid."

The consortium urged Malacanang to review and decide on the matter as to protect the “stability and integrity” of the public-private partnership (PPP) bidding process.

“Losing the confidence of investors would certainly have more of a ‘chilling effect on the Philippine economy’, particularly if any disqualified bidder could, after being disqualified and after the bidding process itself has been concluded, force to change the results by simply proclaiming a bid that, because of its own actions, cannot be verified to be existent in the first place,” Azanza said.

Team Orion, which submitted the highest bid of P11.7 billion, has already filed a Motion to Intervene.

The Department of Public Works and Highways’ Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) will have to wait for the resolution of San Miguel’s appeal before it can proceed with the issuance of the Notice of Award to Team Orion.