MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is now waiting for a decision from Malacanang on the controversy surrounding the bidding of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) project.
Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson said the agency has sent necessary documents to the Office of the President to help resolve the matter.
“We did submit documents the OP legal wanted,” Singson said.
The awarding of the P35.4 billion public-private partnership project has been delayed after one of the bidders, San Miguel Corp.’s Optimal Infrastructure, protested its disqualification from the bidding process.
The highest bidder in the project is Team Orion, a joint venture between Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Land Inc.
The tandem has urged Malacanang to decide on the 37-page Notice of Appeal filed by San Miguel on June 27.
Noel Kintanar, executive vice president of Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., said the tandem has issued a comment seeking the lifting of a “stay order” issued on June 30.
The order is stopping the DPWH from implementing a resolution that disqualified Optimal Infrastructure from the bidding.
Kintanar also said that Team Orion is seeking the dismissal of Optimal’s appeal.
Team Orion spokesperson Roman Azanza III, meanwhile, said San Miguel “spoiled” its evidence after it withdrew its technical and financial bids envelopes from the DPWH Bids and Awards Committee during the opening of financial bids on June 13.
Azanza said San Miguel’s P20 billion offer, higher than Team Orion’s P11 billion offer, was a “ghost” bid.
“Out of its legally non-existent bid, a bid that was returned unopened and that was, in a manner of speaking, officially dead, especially after appellant spoiled it as evidence,” he said.
Azanza warned that the controversy may blemish other infrastructure projects being bidded out under the Aquino administration’s PPP scheme.
"We stand more to lose as a nation if we do not respect our own bidding rules and procedures. We need to keep the hard-earned confidence of investors in the stability and integrity of our public bidding process,” he said.
San Miguel's Optimal Infrastructure was disqualified after it failed to comply with bidding requirements, specifically on the validity of its bid security.