Cebu airport bid pushes through despite TRO plea

Rappler.com
The bidding process for the Mactan-Cebu airport project pushes through despite TRO petition

MANILA, Philippines – The bidding process for the P20-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport project will proceed despite a temporary restraining order (TRO) petition filed against the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

Transportation chief Joseph Emilio Abaya said that “unless a TRO is issued,” the bidding will continue. 

Hagonoy, Bulacan resident and taxpayer Danilo B. Cruz had filed at the Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court (RTC) on Thursday, August 22, a petition for TRO and/or writ of preliminary injunction against DOTC’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

The TRO seeks to stop DOTC from pushing through with the opening of bids next Wednesday, August 28.

Cruz cited “some serious and glaring violations of the law” that DOTC committed as basis for his TRO application.

These violations, he specified, were the one-on-one meetings held by the agency with each of the 7 prequalified bidders.

Read: Biggest PH, foreign biz groups vie for Cebu airport project

The petition stated that “the decision to conduct a series of one-on-one meetings with each of the bidders directly defeats the purpose of a public bidding and destroys the integrity of a strong honest-to-goodness public competition… and thus effectively corrupts any integrity of the coming Aug. 28, 2013 bidding.”

The one-on-one meetings were held with each of the 7 prequalified bidders:

  • AAA Airport Partners led by the Ayala and Aboitiz groups and Houston Airport operator
  • Filinvest-CAI Consortium of the Gotianuns and Singapore’s Changi Airport
  • First Philippine Airports of the Lopez group and New Zealand’s Infratil Asia Limited airport operator
  • GMR Infrastructure and Megawide Consortium of the Pangilinan and Gokongwei companies, as well as France’s Aéroports de Lyon
  • Premier Airport Group led by SM, with Switzerland’s Zurich Airport operators, among others
  • San Miguel-Incheon Airport Consortium of conglomerate SMC and the operator of South Korea’s Incheon Airport

The winning bidder will be granted a 20-year concession to build-operate-transfer (BOT)  the airport project, which is part of the Aquino administration’s public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.

Meanwhile, Erramon Aboitiz, president and chief executive officer of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, said that DOTC informed them last week that the deadline for the submission of bids will be moved to a later date. – Rappler.com