CLARK CITY, Pampanga — San Miguel Corp. is bagging the contract to build and operate the P735-billion New Manila International Airport in Bulakan, Bulacan since no challengers submitted a competitive bid at the end of the Swiss challenge against the original proponent.
“Today was the opening of bids for the Swiss challenge of the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan. No one submitted, no one joined the bidding ... No one submitted a comparative proposal to challenge the original proponent which is San Miguel,” Transportation Assistant Secretary for Procurement and Project Implementation Giovanni Lopez said on the sidelines of the opening of bids on Wednesday.
“Which means we have to award the project to San Miguel,” said Lopez, who also chairs the Bids and Awards Committee.
Now, San Miguel must comply with certain documentary requirements.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will send a notice of award to the winner within eight days, Lopez said.
“There are some conditions in the notice of award which San Miguel has to comply with, for example the performance security, proof of commitment, the DOTr official noted.
“They have 20 days to do so. After that we have five days to check whether they complied or not, then a formal signing of contract ... Then we will issue a notice to commence construction of the project,” he said.
A performance security can be in cash equivalent to 2% of the total investment, or surety bond equivalent to 10% of the project cost.
“If you follow the time period, until within the month of August or first week of September, we’re done with the documentation processes,” Lopez noted.
San Miguel president and COO Ramon Ang told GMA News Online that the company is ready to comply with the documentary requirements with the prescribed period so the construction of the airport can begin.
Ang earlier said he was optimistic that the company can start constructing the airport project within the year.
In April, the DOTr opened the Swiss challenge or the process in which the original proponent will have to match or top the challengers to its proposal.
The DOTr has given potential challengers enough time or around 180 days to come up with a comparative proposal but no competitor submitted a bid.
An unsolicited proposal from San Miguel’s infrastructure unit, the Bulacan airport was approved by NEDA Board—chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte—on April 26 subject to the resolution of pending issues, including the joint and several liability agreements by San Miguel Holdings and parent San Miguel Corp.
The project involves the construction, operation, and maintenance of a 2,500-hectare airport in Bulakan, Bulacan. The development includes a passenger terminal building with airside and landside facilities, an airport toll road, and four runways.
“With this project, we will generate a lot of jobs and boost not just the local economies of Bulacan but also of neighboring provinces,” Ang said in a separate statement.
“As part of a larger infrastructure ecosystem that consists of existing and future expressways and mass rail systems, it will be easily accessible from north and south Luzon and will help in significantly decongesting Metro Manila,” he said.
The Bulacan airport is expected raise the country’s profile and competitiveness as an investment and tourism destination, and help boost local and export industries, according to San Miguel.
“It will make the lives of many air passengers—balikbayans, OFWs, tourists—so much better and easier,” Ang said.
“We still have a long way to go, but with the continued support of government and everyone, we hope to get started working right away,” he added. —VDS, GMA News