MANILA - BCDA President Arnel Casanova said Metro Pacific would have no grounds to stop a so-called price challenge on its SCTEX operation contract because challengers will be bidding on exactly the same contract Metro Pacific signed.
He also said President Aquino has the right to subject contracts to challenges in the interest of transparency.
Casanova said what the agency can't grant Metro Pacific is the company's requirement that the terms of the price challenge have its approval.
He said this could hurt the perception that the process is fair. Metro Pacific is pursuing the project through its Manila North Tollways Corp. unit.
BCDA published the terms of reference Thursday and Metro Pacific reiterated its concerns, including its position that the terms of any Swiss challenge "shall be agreed by BCDA and MNTC."
Metro Pacific was awarded the project in June 2010, the last weeks of President Gloria Arroyo's term, but terms were left for future negotiation.
A contract was signed in 2011 and then renegotiated. This year, the government said it would subject the contract to a price challenge, drawing protests from Metro Pacific.
BCDA said in a price challenge, challengers can only outbid Metro Pacific's P3.5-billion upfront payment. Other terms, such as a 50-50 sharing in tolls, will remain the same.
The company has said it may sue. - ANC