MANILA, Philippines – Infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) has set its sights on 3 more public-private partnership (PPP) deals, after its participation in the controversial P55.5-billion ($1.25-billion) Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) deal.
MPIC Chairman Manuel Pangilinan said on the sidelines of an annual stockholders’ meeting that the conglomerate might bid for 3 more PPP projects even if it is likely to win CALAX after submitting a higher financial offer of P27.3 billion ($610.38 million) than San Miguel Holdings Corporation.
MPIC’s financial offer was more than double its P11.33 billion ($253.56 million) offer in the first bidding in June 2014. This premium offer will be paid on top of the road PPP’s P35.4-billion construction cost.
Pangilinan said the MPIC would be evaluating “offers from a few local and foreign banks” related to financing CALAX once it formally receives the notice of award from the government.
After CALAX, Pangilinan said his company “will still look at other PPP projects.” These projects are expected to be bid out during the Aquino administration.
He told reporters that MPIC remains interested in the operations and maintenance of the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) and the 653-km North South Commuter Railway line that will connect Tutuban in Manila to the southern peripheries of Metro Manila and a long-haul network to the Bicol region.
Pangilinan said MPIC has also set its sights on P108.9-billion ($2.4-billion) worth of deals to develop, operate and maintain (O&M) 5 regional airports, namely: New Bohol, Bacolod-Silay, Iloilo, Davao and Laguindingan gateways.
MPIC President Jose Ma Lim said his company wants the bundling of the 5 airports to be under one package as its “foreign partners are having difficulty with the two bundles.”
Currently, the government packaged the airports into two – bundle 1 has the Bacolod-Silay and Iloilo airports while bundle 2 is composed of Laguindingan, Davao, and Bohol (Panglao) airports.
“We hope to bundle the airports in one package. Yes, we already informed DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) but they have not gotten back to us yet. Foreign partners are having a difficult time regarding the separate bundles,” Lim said on the sidelines of an event on Friday, May 29.
Asked about MPIC’s foreign partners, Lim replied: “We’re talking to one in advance. I cannot disclose yet until everything is final with them.”
MPIC, which is a parent company of a number of power, tollroads and healthcare businesses, has bagged two PPP deals with partner Ayala Corporation. (READ: Why same firms are vying for PH infra projects)
In 2014, the MPIC-Ayala group won the automated fare collection system – a smart card ticketing system for Metro Manila’s railways, as well as the LRT-1 Cavite expansion project. – Rappler.com