PPP: SMC-led groups to bid for Laguna Lakeshore project

San Miguel Corp. (SMC)-led groups are expected to join the auction for the P123-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway and Dike Project.

The SMC would submit qualification documents for the Aquino administration’s biggest public-private partnership (PPP) project to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Friday. 

“Yes we will submit documents for prequalification,” according to a source.

The SMC has been focusing on toll road projects, including the P15.5 billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) expressway project through Vertex Tollways Development Inc., the P24 billion Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union expressway (TPLEX) through Philippine Infrastructure Development Corp. (PIDC), and the P26.5-billion Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project via Citral Central Expressway Corp. (CCEC).

The group has also expressed interest in the Metro Manila Skyway through Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp. and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

It has successfully convinced Malacañang to order the rebidding of P35.4-billion Cavite-Laguna expressway (CALAX) after its unit Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc. (OIDI) was disqualified by the DPWH. The unit submitted a bid of P20.015 billion that is now the floor price approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

According to MTD Alloy president Isaac David, the company has formed a consortium together with former Sen. Manuel Villar composed of local and foreign partners to increase their chance of bagging the project.

“Yes, our team composed of the Villar Group and Korean reclamation developer Hanshin Construction Corp. and Korea Rural Corp. will submit prequalification documents,” said David.

A unit of Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., is not inclined in joining the bidding of the project as “it faces technical, commercial, and even regulatory risks,” according to MPTC president Ramoncito Fernandez.

In a statement, he said: “We are not inclined to participate. Too many risks—technical, commercial, and regulatory.”

Megawide Construction Corp. chief finance officer Louie Ferrer also said that their group has not really decided yet whether to bid for the project or not. 

As of now, a total of 24 companies have expressed interest in the largest PPP project ever rolled out so far by the government.