No challengers in SMC’s planned Bulacan airport
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - June 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines —  Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is poised to bag the Bulacan airport project by August and start construction immediately this year if no challenger shows up over the next month.

The scheduled pre-bid conference for the New Manila International Airport Project in Bulacan proceeded yesterday with no potential challengers in sight.

“We pushed through with the pre-bid conference because that is the schedule under the law. No one attended. Nonetheless, we still have until July 31 for them to purchase the bid documents. They can still join,” Transportation Assistant Secretary for procurement Giovanni Lopez told The STAR.

Lopez said the pre-bid conference was supposed to give interested bidders a platform for clarificatory questions on the terms, conditions, and qualifications of the contract.

“In the event that no one will join, basically if no one will challenge, then under the law, we have to issue a notice of award to the original proponent, which is San Miguel,” he said.

“Under the law, by July 31 we will issue a resolution recommending the award to the original proponent. The head of the agency, which is delegated to Transportation Undersecretary for aviation Manuel Tamayo, will issue notice of award within three days from the issuance of the resolution. That is how fast it is,” Lopez said.

Lopez said upon the notice of award, the winning proponent would still have to meet some conditions like submission of certain documents.

“Definitely, the directive is to start construction this year,” Lopez said.

SMC president Ramon Ang earlier said his group is hopeful that they can hit the ground running on actual construction of the project this year.

He also said he was not expecting any other party to make a bid to challenge his group’s proposal given the size of the investment required and the lack of government subsidy or take-off agreement.

Transportation Undersecretary Ruben Reinoso said the development of the Bulacan international airport would be undertaken in phases by SMC in line with the Department of Transportation’s policy of projects having “partial operability.”

Reinoso said SMC has committed to make the first phase of the project operational in three to four years, which would include two runways and a capacity of 35 million passengers.

San Miguel’s P754 billion airport proposal aims to develop a new international gateway airport with air passenger terminal facilities with an ultimate design capacity of 100 million annual passengers, as well as airside facilities with an ultimate configuration of four parallel runways.

It also includes aviation-related equipment and support facilities, as well as an eight-kilometer airport toll road linking the project with the North Luzon Expressway.

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