SMC bags Bulacan airport project

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star
SMC bags Bulacan airport project
Artist’s perspective of the proposed Bulacan airport.

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Holdings Corp. emerged victorious as its unsolicited proposal to build a new international airport in Bulacan went unchallenged during the Swiss challenge period and supposed opening of rival bids yesterday.

With no offer from other parties, the New Manila International Airport project in Bulacan is all set to be granted to San Miguel.

“No one bought our bid documents. No one joined the bidding and no one submitted a comparative proposal to challenge original proponent which is San Miguel, which means we have to award the project to San Miguel,” bids and awards committee chairman and Transportation Assistant Secretary for procurement and project implementation Giovanni Lopez said.

Lopez said the DOTr is expected to issue the notice of award to San Miguel within the next five days, after which a 20-day period will start for the proponent to comply with certain conditions which include posting of a performance security and proof of commitment, among others.

The performance security may be in the form of cash (minimum of two percent of the project cost), irrevocable letter of credit (minimum of five percent of project cost), or surety bond (minimum of 10 percent of project cost).

“There are some conditions in the notice of award which San Miguel has to comply with. 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,” Lopez said.

The DOTr expects the notice to proceed to be issued by the first week of September at the latest. From the start of construction, the New Manila International Airport is seen operational within four to six years.

“In the ordinary course of things, if you follow the time period I think within the month of August or first week of September we’re done with documentation processes. Secretary Tugade wants to start the groundbreaking of the construction by the last quarter of this year,” Lopez said.

Lopez believes there is no question when it comes to the financial capabilities of San Miguel, saying that “they can really deliver as far as financial capacity is concerned.”

In a statement, San Miguel Corp. president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang thanked President Duterte for bringing the historic project closer to reality.

“We share in government’s vision to make this country better, and the lives of the Filipino people better. 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,” Ang said.

The P754 billion New Manila International Airport project involves the construction, operation, and maintenance of an international airport located in Bulakan, Bulacan.

The airport will have a design capacity of 100 million passengers annually, and airside facilities with a configuration of four parallel runways.

It will include the construction of an 8.4-kilometer tollway that will connect the airport to the North Luzon Expressway in Marilao, Bulacan.

Ang said the project would generate a lot of jobs and boost not just the local economies of Bulacan, but also of neighboring provinces.

He said it would also make the lives of many air passengers so much better and easier, given the existing congested state of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“From the time we first proposed to build a new international gateway, our goal was simple: Help address the perennial problem of airport congestion, which has weighed down many aspects of our lives,” Ang said.

“What we hope to build is a long-term solution--a sustainable and world-class Philippine gateway with enough runways and facilities to meet current and future needs. It is our single biggest investment in our country. It is a landmark Filipino project that will be built at no cost to government and with no subsidies or guarantees of any kind,” he said.

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