BCDA sends out invitations for SCTEX price challenge

By Louella D. Desiderio and Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 09 2014 07:54 AM | Updated as of Dec 09 2014 03:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) is inviting interested firms to participate in the price challenge for the management, operation and maintenance of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).

The BCDA said it intends to assign the rights, interest and obligations in the management, operation and maintenance of the 94-kilometer SCTEX which traverses the provinces of Bataan, Pampanga and Tarlac, under an agreement for a period of 28 years until 2043.

The SCTEX provides a direct link to Metro Manila via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

While the BCDA signed a business and operating agreement for SCTEX with Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) in 2011, a price challenge would be conducted following directions from the Office of the President (OP).

“In the interest of transparency and fair competition, the OP has directed that the MNTC’s offer be subjected to a price challenge,” Nena Radoc, price challenge selection committee chairperson at the BCDA, said.

As such, the BCDA is inviting proponents interested in the price challenge to submit proposals higher than MNTC’s offer of an upfront cash payment of P3.5 billion, inclusive of a 12-percent value-added tax to the BCDA, in addition to the 50-50 sharing of gross revenues.

Interested firms should also accept other commercial terms for the price challenge such as assumption of operation and maintenance costs and responsibilities over SCTEX and the ongoing integration agreement for the toll collection system of the NLEX and the SCTEX.

While interested firms are invited to submit their offer, Radoc said “MNTC has the right to match the upfront cash proposal of the highest rated and responsive proponent (HRRP) in which case MNTC shall be awarded the contract.”

Meanwhile, infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) wants a transparent and fair price challenge for the 94-kilometer SCTEX.

Rodrigo Franco, president of MPIC’s Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC), said in an interview that the company wants to review the terms of reference (TOR) to be issued by the BCDA on the proceedings.

Franco pointed out that the company fully supports the decision of Malacañang to submitthe operation of SCTEX to a price challenge, but wants to make sure that the procedure is transparent and fair.

“We are supportive of that effort, if that is the only way to resolve the problem in SCTEX. We just want to make sure that it is done properly,” he said.

According to him, the company is hoping that MNTC could review the TOR before it is issued by the BCDA to interested investors.

The BCDA is set to issue the TOR for the “price challenge” on the maintenance and operations management of the SCTEX on Dec. 11. It is bidding out the rights, interest and obligations in the management, operation and maintenance of the SCTEX under a business and operating agreement for a period of 28 years ending in 2043.

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