MANILA, Philippines – The award of the P55.5 billion ($1.24 billion) Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) to infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) is awaiting the signature of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson.
Public Works Undersecretary Rafael Yabut said in a text message that the agency’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) has already submitted a recommendation to Singson to award the public private partnership (PPP) project to the higher bidder.
Yabut said Singson joined the state visit of President Benigno Aquino III to Japan and is scheduled to return Friday, June 5.
“It has been forwarded to the Office of the Secretary. It should be done by Saturday because Secretary Singson is with President Aquino in Japan,” he added.
For his part, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Assistant Secretary Ariel Angeles said the Notice of Award is awaiting the signature of the DPWH chief. “It is ready for signing,” he added.
During the opening of financial bids last May 26, MPIC’s MPCALA Holdings Incorporated emerged as the higher bidder with a premium bid of P27.3 billion ($608.44 million) edging the P22.2 billion ($494.86 million) bid of San Miguel Holdings Corporation owned by diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC).
Both bids for the Malacañang-mandated rebidding were above the P20.105 billion ($448.02 million) floor price. The bid of MPIC was the highest ever premium payment tendered for a PPP project.
Malacañang ordered the DPWH to rebid the project after SMC questioned the disqualification of its unit Optimal Infrastructure Development Incorporated (OIDI) from the bidding in June last year.
The tandem of conglomerate Ayala Corporation and listed Aboitiz Land Incorporated through Team Orion emerged as the highest bidder in June last year with of P11.66 billion ($259.83 million), followed by MPIC’s MPCALA Holdings with P11.33 billion ($252.48 million), and Malaysian-owned Alloy MTD Philippines with P922 million ($20.54 million). OIDI has a ghost bid of P20.105 billion ($448.02 million).
Yabut earlier said the tentative schedule for the signing of the concession agreement is on July 14.
For her part, PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao earlier said construction of the proposed toll road would start in July next year and would be completed in July 2020.
The PPP project is a four-lane 45.5 kilometer closed-system tolled expressway connecting the Manila–Cavite toll expressway in Kawit, Cavite, and the Mamplasan interchange along South Luzon expressway in Biñan, Laguna. – Rappler.com