Court asked to block bidding of P17.5-B MCIA undertaking-A A +A
Friday, August 23, 2013
A TAXPAYER from Bulacan yesterday asked a Mandaluyong City court to stop the government from bidding on Aug. 28 the P17.5-billion expansion and rehabilitation of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA), the country's second busiest.
In a petition for injunction, Danilo Cruz accused the Pre-Bid and Awards Committee (PBAC) of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) of violating Republic Act 7118 (Build Operate Transfer Law) for holding two one-on-one meetings with each of the seven pre-qualified bidders from June 21 to Aug. 1 this year.
DOTC officials, on the other hand, scheduled meetings with the pre-qualified bidders starting Friday in Mandaluyong City.
Cruz said there was a possibility that offers to sweeten the deal were made to the PBAC during the one-on-one meetings, which “defeats the purpose of a public bidding and destroys the integrity of a strong honest-to-goodness public competition.”
Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya could not be reached for comment.
This saddened MCIA Authority general manager Nigel Paul Villarete.
He said he hopes that the issue would be resolved soon so that the timetable of the project would not be affected.
He said the Supreme Court is the only one that can issue temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, or preliminary mandatory injunctions against the government infrastructure projects under RA 8975.
He said the BOT Law does not prohibit one-on-one meetings.
“The one-on-one meetings provide bidders the opportunity to discuss (and seek) clarifications regarding the bidding documents,” he added.
Villarete stressed that the final bid document is a result of the one-on-one meetings.
“I can't see anything unlawful about that, especially as it cleaves closely to the letter and spirit of the BOT Law,” he said.
Last month, President Benigno Aquino III ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate allegations of Czech Ambassador Josef Rychtar that DOTC officials asked $30 million from Czech firm Inekon in exchange for the right to supply additional trains.
The following consortiums have until Aug. 28 to submit their bid proposals for the MCIA project: AAA Airport Partners of the Ayala and Aboitiz groups and Houston airport operator ADC and HAS; 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, which includes India’s Delhi Airport’s operator.
Also in the list are MPIC-JGS Airport Holdings Inc. with France’s Aeroports de Lyon; SM-led Premier Airport Group, which includes Switzerland’s Zurich Airport operators; and San Miguel-Incheon Airport Consortium, led by the SMC conglomerate and the operator of South Korea’s Incheon Airport.
The MCIA project involves the construction of a new world-class international passenger terminal building with a capacity of about eight million passengers per year; renovation and expansion of the existing terminal; installation of all the required equipment; and the operation of both new and existing facilities.
The airport has a present capacity of 4.5 million passengers but this was surpassed in 2010 when it accommodated more than five million passengers. It welcomed 2.41 million people in the first four months of 2013. (Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 23, 2013.