MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is spending P122.6 million ($2.8 million) to tap an independent consultant for the P17.5 billion ($399.47 million) Mactan-Cebu international airport expansion project.
An independent consultant is essential in all government infrastructure projects, DOTC spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal said.
“It will act as government’s engineer and representative in monitoring the project’s progress and ensuring compliance by the concessionaire with its obligations,” Sagcal said in a text message, Friday, June 20.
In a Request for Expression of Interest, DOTC is set to procure an independent consultant for the public-private partnership (PPP) project that was awarded to the tandem of Megawide Construction Corp. and Bangalore-based GMR Group.
Interested consultants were given until Monday, July 21, to submit their eligibility documents to the DOTC Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).
The agency’s BAC would draw up the short list of consultants from the submissions made and have been determined as eligible in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
Criteria for the short listing of 5 bidders include 45% for applicable experience; 45% for the qualification of key personnel; and 10% for current workload.
The Winning Bidder
DOTC issued a Notice of Award to the GMR-Megawide tandem in April. The project aims to modernize the country’s second largest aviation hub by constructing a new international passenger terminal building and by expanding its existing passenger terminal.
The existing terminal building has a capacity of 4.5 million and has been operating at over-capacity with 6.7 million passengers since 2012.
The Megawide-GMR tandem submitted in December 2013 the highest bid of P14.404 billion ($328.63 million) for the project, followed by the Filinvest-CAI Consortium, which submitted P13.999 billion ($319.39 million) as bid. (READ: Megawide-led consortium submits highest bid for Mactan airport).
Filinvest, however, asked the DOTC in January to disqualify the top bidder for alleged conflict of interest involving GMR Infrastructure of India, First Philippine Airports Consortium, and the Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).
In February, Senator Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III supported the disqualification by revealing GMR’s ties with Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide (Fraport), the operator partner and majority beneficial owner of Piatco (Philippine International Air Terminals Company Incorporated), the consortium in the NAIA 3 debacle. (READ: Cebu airport winning bidder another Piatco?)
The Megawide-GMR tandem has repeatedly denied the alleged conflict of interest. The same tandem has earmarked at least P20 billion ($456.31 million) for the project. – Rappler.com