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Ayala, Aboitiz Land want to take part in Palace inquiry on SMC disqualification

By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 15, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The tandem of conglomerate Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Land Inc. has asked Malacanang that the consortium be allowed to participate in the ongoing investigation on the recently concluded bidding for the P35.4 billion Cavite – Laguna expressway project.

Jose Eric Francia, managing director of Ayala, informed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEX) that Team Orion has submitted a Motion to Intervene to the Office of the President.

It would be recalled that MalacaƱang issued a “Stay Order” last June 30 preventing the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) from implementing a resolution dated June 11 disqualifying a unit of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) from the bidding of the public private partnership (PPP) project.

“The Motion is being sought by the Consortium to allow it to participate in any proceedings to be conducted in connection with the stay order imposed by the Office of the President on the disqualification of one of the bidders by the DPWH,” Francia stated in the letter dated July 10.

Team Orion, a 50-50 joint venture between Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Inc. and Aboitiz Land, was one of the four prequalified bidders that submitted bids to the DPWH last June 2 while bidders included SMC’s Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc., MP CALLA Holdings Inc. of infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), and Malaysian-owned MTD Alloy Philippines.

During the submission of bids, the three bidders questioned the flaw in the validity period of the P355-million bid security submitted by Optimal Infrastructure.

After a careful review, the agency’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) headed by DPWH undersecretary Rafael Yabut issued a four-page resolution dated June 11 disqualifying the SMC unit from the opening of the financial bids scheduled last June 13.

The resolution stated that SMC failed to comply with two provisions of the Instruction to Bidders (ITB) particularly Section 6.1 on the form of bid security as well as Section 6.2 covering the validity and purpose.

The provision states that the bid security required to be submitted as part of the bid proposal must be an irrevocable standby letter of credit in the amount of P355 million without modification.

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