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3 big firms eye P35.6-b road

By Lailany P. Gomez | Posted on Jul. 16, 2013 at 12:02am | manilastandardtoday.com 
Three conglomerates have expressed interest to bid for the P35.6-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway project, the Public Works Department said Monday.
Public Works Undersecretary Rafel Yabut told reporters San Miguel Corp., Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investment were interested in the 47-kilometer road project.
“At least three corporations have expressed their intention to bid for the project. There’s SMC, Ayala and MPIC. SMC is very vocal with their intention. Ayala is interested because of the massive property and land development in the area, while for MPIC, well it has the Cavite Expressway,” Yabut said.
The Public Works Department, the implementing agency of the project, modified the bid documents from a combination of official development assistance and public-private partnership to a “pure” PPP.
It modified the bid documents, after SMC made an upfront payment of P11 billion to the government for the NAIA Expressway project.
“The bid documents are being finalized for the CALA Expressway because there has been a paradigm shift, the ODA component on the opinion of SMC, when we did a market sounding, they are of the opinion they don’t need the ODA. So we bite the bullets, since we earned from the P11 billion SMC paid for the NAIA Expressway,” Yabut said.
“So we thought they are capable of financing the project even without the ODA just what they did in the NAIA expressway, by very aggressive bidding,” he said.
Yabut said the modified bid documents were expected to be finished by the third quarter, which would allow the agency to advertise and conduct the bidding before the end of the year.
The CALA Expressway project is a four-lane, 47.02-km. at-grade road, which will connect the Manila-Cavite Expressway and South Luzon Expressway.
The original invitation to bid asked the private sector to finance, design and construct the P19.7-billion Cavite section stretching 28.9 km. from Kawit to Aguinaldo Highway in Silang, Cavite; and operate and maintain the entire 47-km. project.
The government will finance, design and construct the P15.87-bilion Laguna section with 18.1 km. from Aguinaldo Highway to SLEX Mamplasan Exit, Laguna.
The entire project will cost P35.58 billion.
The new proposal, however, has to be approved first by the National Economic and Development Authority Board.
“It has to go back to Neda for approval, before we can advertise and bid the project,” Yabut said.
The CALA Expressway is the agency’s third infrastructure project under the government’s PPP program.
The first project, the Daang Hari-SLEX, was awarded to the Ayala group, while the second, the NAIA Expressway, went to Optimal Infrastructure Development of San Miguel.
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