PPP: Undisclosed group buys bid docs for CALAX project

Another group has expressed interest in the P55.51-billion contract to build, operate and maintain the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), which will be auctioned off again next month. 

According to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Public Private Partnership (PPP) Service Director and Officer-in-Charge Ariel C. Angeles, “a fourth group--an undisclosed client of Gatmaitan Law Office--last month bought bid documents for the project.”

The CALAX deal has also drawn interest from San Miguel Corp. (SMC), Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) and an undisclosed client of Reyes, Tacondong & Co. law firm.

The bid documents have been available for purchase since March 10, after the government issued on February 27 a notice again inviting local and international companies to bid for the contract. Prospective investors have until May 18 to buy the bid documents. Bidding is slated for May 19.

Mr. Angeles said the DPWH will strictly follow the timetable for the project.

The CALAX project includes the minimum bid price of P20.1 billion fixed by the government. That amount represents the premium that Optimal Infrastructure Development, Inc. offered to pay on top of the P35.42-billion project cost during the first tender on June 2, 2014.

Last February 27, the project was rolled out once again after the Office of the President in November ordered the DPWH to offer the deal in a new auction round.

This followed disqualified bidder Optimal’s move to seek Malacañang intervention after the group’s disqualification on a technicality concerning its bid security.

The June 2 bidding attracted four bidders: Optimal; MPIC-led MPCALA Holdings, Inc.; Team Orion of Ayala Corp.’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.’s Aboitiz Land, Inc.; and MTD Philippines, Inc.

The government said in its February 27 invitation to bid that the rebidding will involve a single stage in which prequalification documents, technical and financial offers will be submitted simultaneously by bidders.

It was on the same date that Team Orion declared that they are no longer interested in the CALAX deal. 

The CALAX project involves a 35-year contract to finance, build and operate a 47-kilometer four-lane toll road between Cavite Expressway in Kawit, Cavite and the South Luzon Expressway-Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.