Davao firm wins P148-M Malampaya, Recto Bank projects
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - July 7, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A Davao-based construction firm won the bidding for the construction of hangars and bases to be used to secure the Malampaya natural gas project and Recto (Reed) Bank in the West Philippine Sea. 

The STAR learned over the weekend that the defense department issued a notice of award to Vicente T. Lao Construction, a firm based in Panacan, Davao City.

A notice of award signed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin last April showed that Vicente T. Lao had offered to undertake the project for P146.24 million, well within the approved budget of P148.99 million.

Vicente T. Lao offered the second lowest bid for the project, which attracted six bidders. The lowest bidder, E.M. Cuerpo Inc., offered P144.89 million but was disqualified during the post-qualification phase.

Under the project, one unit each of search and rescue base and hangar will be built at Sanga-Sanga, Tawi-Tawi and Puerto Princesa in Palawan.

The project also aims to “support the maritime security and protection of the Malampaya Natural Gas-to-Power Project, Reed Bank and the future of Sulu Oil Rig,” according to a bid bulletin issued by the Department of National Defense.

Security officials believe the basing project would improve the capabilities of the Air Force, boost its operational effectiveness, and build support systems for search and rescue efforts.

“We are expecting the arrival of new air assets. It’s always good to have a place to house our assets,” a security source who requested anonymity told The STAR yesterday.

“The bases can help us protect our resources and boost our disaster response efforts,” the source added.

The Malampaya project is located in Palawan and is the source of power plants that provide electricity to a huge part of Luzon including Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, Recto Bank or Reed Bank is located within 80 nautical miles from Palawan and is being considered as a site for exploration projects.

The area is being claimed by China even if it is well within the country’s exclusive economic zone. 

In 2011, two Chinese ships reportedly bullied a civilian vessel commissioned by the energy department while conducting an oil exploration survey in the area.

The facilities will also secure projects in South Sulu Sea, an area projected to yield potential oil reserves of 750 million barrels, enough to cover the country’s daily consumption in seven years.

Vicente Lao is also one of the lowest bidders for one of the projects that seek to improve the facilities in Oyster Bay, an area facing the West Philippine Sea.

The company offered to build the Oyster Bay pier and harbor for P209.637 million, lower than the approved budget of P236.637 million.

The government, however, has yet to issue a notice of award for the project because of a case filed before the Supreme Court.


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