13 firms vie for NAIA road project

By Iris C. Gonzales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 13 2012 08:18 AM | Updated as of Aug 13 2012 07:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The bidding for the proposed P13.575-billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) expressway project may be pushed back to December or early January next year to give interested parties more time to finalize their bids, a government official said over the weekend.

At least 13 firms including some of the country’s biggest conglomerates have expressed interest in bidding for the project, according to the official who attended the prequalifying conference set by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) last Friday.

Companies that purchased bid documents included San Miguel Corp., Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., DM Consunji, Inc., Ayala Corp., Macquarie Capital Securities, EGIS Projects, M/S IL and FS Transportation Network, Megawide Constructions, EEI Corp, Alloy MTD Philippines, J.E. Manalo Construction, Daelim Philippines and C.M. Pancho Construction.

“We’re looking at December and early January for the bidding because we’re setting months to prepare,” said the official privy to the matter.

Originally, the government set the bidding for the project in June this year, according to a June 6 statement by the Philippine Public-Private (PPP) center.

The NAIA expressway project is one of the big-ticket infrastructure projects under the Aquino administration’s much-touted PPP program. It aims to decongest traffic in the country’s different airport terminals.

The submission of prequalifying documents has been set on Sept. 18 while the distribution of bid documents to prequalified bidders will be in the first week of October, the source said.

The lengthy time set for the prequalification and bidding aims to weed out parties that are not that serious with the project.

The government, through a facility pooled together by the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) from the four investors of its Entertainment City resorts casino project, will provide a debt facility of P6.5 billion to the winning bidder. Pagcor’s Entertainment City will benefit from the road project as it would connect the 120-hectare complex to the country’s airport terminals.

“The facility will be available to the winning bidder,” said the government official.

According to the DWPH, bidders will be asked to submit financial proposals showing the amount they propose to borrow from the P6.5 billion Infrastructure Support Facility or ISF.

“The bidder whose technical proposal is passed and whose financial proposal requires the lowest amount to be borrowed from the ISF will be designated as the highest ranking bidder,” the DPWH said in a notice.

It has tapped the Development Bank of the Philippines, a government financial institution and the International Finance Corp., the private sector arm of the World Bank as transaction advisors for the project.

The service contract to be awarded to the winning bidder involves two phases of construction work. The first entails adjustments to the 600-meter viaduct starting from the Skyway, which would include ramps.

Bulk of the project is a four-late elevated expressway which will start from Sales Street going to Andrews Avenue, Domestic Road and which will end at Roxas Boulevard.

It will also include design, construction and provision of toll plazas plus additional toll operating equipment and safety facilities as well as reconstruction and widening of affected roads.

Furthermore, the project involves the construction of a 2.22-kilometer six-lane road within the Pagcor’s Entertainment City.

According to the original schedule, the detailed design and construction of the project will run from this year to 2015.

The Aquino administration hopes to have at least 22 infrastructure projects under the government’s PPP Program “processed” by the end of 2012, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in May.

“These projects are intended to improve transportation connectivity, boost agricultural productivity, increase water service areas and raise the quality of education and health,” Balisacan said.