MANILA (UPDATE) - The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Wednesday said it is considering extending the bid submission deadline for the country's largest and most complex public private partnership project to date.
The agency set a November 6 bid submission deadline for the massive P123 billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike, meant to ease traffic flow and mitigate flooding in coastal communities along Laguna lake.
"There seems to be a strong pressure from the bidders for a little bit more time. Because of the complexity, we recognize that they have to put together a consortium that will have expertise in land reclamation, expertise in property development and expertise in flood management," Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson told ANC's Cathy Yang on the sidelines of the Philippine Economic Briefing on Wednesday.
The original bids deadline was scheduled in July but was pushed back to November this year.
Three groups were pre-qualified for the project, one led by San Miguel Corp. through San Miguel Holdings Corp.; the "super consortium" of Trident Infrastructure and Development Corp. or Team Trident of Ayala Land, SM Prime Holdings, Aboitiz Equity Ventures and Megaworld; and Alloy Pavi Hanshin LLEDP Consortium comprised of Malaysia’s MTD Group, South Korea’s Hanshin and the family of former senator Manuel Villar Jr.
The Aquino administration is rushing to award the biggest PPP project, ahead of the May 2016 national polls. However, some sticking points in the viability of the project remain such as the issue of reclamation, which Singson said is best handled by the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA).
"There is a component that has been agreed in the past that whatever is reclaimed, a certain portion goes to the national government and which agency of the national government acquires jurisdiction over that. Our position ever since has been with LLDA, because the LLDA is the authority for the Laguna lake."
The project is envisioned to provide a high standard highway cum dike that will facilitate traffic flow and mitigate flooding in the western coastal communities along Laguna Lake, from Bicutan/Taguig in Metro Manila through Calamba to Los Baños in Laguna.
The 37-year concession deal, once completed, is seen to reduce travel time from Bicutan to Los Baños from one a half hours to just 35 minutes.
Under its timetable, the DPWH eyes awarding the project by December 18 this year and completion by year 2023.