Philippines considers CALAX rebid

The Philippines president has said he is considering re-bidding the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) "to get the best deal for the people".

I am inclined to think that a re-bid will be the proper course of action on this particular issue," President Benigno Aquino III told press this week, after one of the four teams bidding for the scheme was disqualified earlier this year.

The project has already stumbled at a number of hurdles with the latest being a disqualification of a San Miguel Corp-led consortium from the bidding over the summer. The project involves the construction of a 47km highway connecting the Manila-Cavite and South Luzon expressways and is considered one of the biggest deals under the country’s PPP programme.

In June, the government disqualified San Miguel Corp’s Optimal Infrastructure Development consortium from bidding for the $808m project, citing a failure on the validity of its bid security. 

Aquino explained that Optimal Infrastructure’s bid claimed to be $201.1m more than the winning bidder’s.

"If we accept the winning bid at this time when there is an allegation that there was a much superior bid, then we will have to explain to the people the P9bn [$201.1m] difference that we forego," he explained. "We get the infrastructure; we get a premium of P20bn [$446.9m] allegedly from one bid, or an P11bn [$245.7m] premium from another bid. Now, at the end of the day, we have to protect the people’s interests."

He added: "The proposal for government to actually undertake the project defeats the whole purpose of the PPP project – to free our resources for other infrastructure needs. There are private sector individuals or companies that are willing to provide us the infrastructure we need and to deliver a premium to us."

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