Metro Pacific to bid for modernization of govt hospital

By Mary Ann Ll. Reyes, The Philippine Star

Posted at Nov 29 2011 08:30 AM | Updated as of Nov 29 2011 10:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) announced yesterday that the firm is participating in the bidding for the modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Hospital under the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) program.

MPIC said that it is interested in expanding its hospital chain, consistent with its strategy of forming the first nationwide network of hospitals in the country.

MPIC clarified in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), that “no definitive decision has been made” because the government has yet to release the terms of reference for the project bidding.

The firm said that it will “make the necessary disclosure as soon as any material event occurs.”

MPIC has said it intends to expand to 15 hospitals the firm’s current network of six hospitals and aims for a total bed capacity of 3,000.

The Department of Health (DOH) has a Public-Private Partnership Management Office (PPPMO), which only last September completed the “business case” of the Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC) modernization project.

Health Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa has said that the DOH, through its PPPMO, “is now ready to help DOH hospitals and other government health facilities in ensuring transparency and efficiency in the implementation of their PPP initiatives.”

The DOH said that in the POC modernization project, the department “had performed due diligence in being exhaustive in all financial scenarios and ensuring the accuracy and completeness of financial information, not only to prevent the government from paying too much, but also to guarantee that governance and risk management objectives are met.”

Herbosa said the government is still in the process of bidding out the project for the terms and reference to be used in the hospital’s modernization project.

MPIC has expressed desire to participate in the bidding for the modernization project, but Herbosa said the company appeared to be interested in the bidding for the construction project.

“We are still in the first step of the project in which five international companies have participated in the bidding and the Metro pacific appeared willing to participate in the second phase of the project,” he said.

According to under the government public-private partnership program, the DOH hopes to develop the POH into a world class facility with 1,000 beds.

He said the bidding for project would likely start middle of next year and the actual construction to begin in the third quarter of 2012.

MPIC earlier acquired the controlling stake of Thai hospital group Bumungrad in the upscale 219-bed Asian Hospital in Alabang, Muntinlupa.

The company will pay P1.46 billion for a 57 percent stake and then conduct a tender offer for all the remaining shares held by the public.

Asian Hospital is the sixth in the MPIC’s growing list of hospitals. It likewise increased the group’s bed capacity to 1,800 nationwide.

MPIC owns Makati Medical Center and has equity in Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod and Davao Doctors Hospital. It also manages the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Sta. Mesa, Manila.