Cebu News

Multi-billion MCIA expansion project: GMR-Megawide gets contract

AJ de la Torre - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communications finally awarded yesterday the Mactan Cebu International Airport expansion project to the GMR-Megawide consortium.

The GMR-Megawide Consortium had emerged the highest bidder after submitting a bid of P 14.4 billion for the project.

"We are delighted to be awarded the Mactan-Cebu International Airport project. We firmly believe that the GMR-Megawide Consortium has the right credentials and capabilities to undertake this prestigious project and deliver a world class airport that Cebuanos and Filipinos will be proud of," said Michael Cosiquien, chairman and CEO of Megawide Construction Corporation.

"We would like to thank the DOTC on concluding a fair and transparent bid process in a highly professional manner. We would like to reiterate that the GMR-Megawide Consortium has faithfully observed all requirements set by DOTC and the Pre-qualification Bids and Awards Committee (PBAC) during the course of this bid and now look forward towards a successful undertaking of the project," he added.

Srinivas Bommidala, Chairman Airports Sector, GMR Infrastructure Ltd. said: "We believe that our strategic plan will result in the delivery of a very efficient, passenger-oriented and commercially sustainable airport that will provide the required capacity to meet significant growth through the redevelopment of the existing terminal and construction of a brand new terminal within three years. The Mactan-Cebu International Airport will become a regional hub creating passenger and cargo traffic growth, jobs for local community, rise in tourism traffic and multiplier economic benefits to the region. Most importantly, it will be an airport that truly reflects the culture and heritage of Cebuanos."

In a statement, GMR Infrastructure and Megawide Construction said they will combine "their expertise and track record to transform the Mactan-Cebu International Airport into a world-class facility."


Following the congressional inquiries, Senator Sergio Osmeña III has petitioned the Supreme Court to stop the DOTC from awarding the Mactan Cebu International Airport project to the highest bidder.

The petition was filed  before GMR-Megawide was awarded the project yesterday.

In his petition, Osmeña seeks "to restrain DOTC Secretary Emilio Abaya, the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority and the Prequalification, Bids and Awards Committee from further acting on the bid of GMR-Megawide Consortium."

He also wanted the SC to declare GMR-Megawide an unqualified bidder for the MCIA project.

Named respondents of the petition were Abaya, Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority, the Prequalification, Bids and Award Committee for the MCIA project through its chairman DOTC Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, GMR Infrastructure, Ltd and Megawide Construction Corporation.

Osmeña enumerated the issues against GMR-Megawide, including its alleged violation of conflict-of-interest clause in the bidding rules.

The petition specified as an example the issue 10 years ago that "this honorable court exercised its solemn constitutional duty when it nullified the franchise awarded to the Philippine International Airport Terminals Co. Inc. for the operation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 upon its findings that PIATCO was not a qualified bidder…"

Osmeña pointed out that the issues affecting the NAIA Terminal 3 operations are also hounding the MCIA expansion project.

The senator said that the GMR-Megawide, despite the many issues it involved, has not been disqualified.

"The Supreme Court should nullify the finding of the Prequalification, Bids and Awards Committee that the GMR-Megawide consortium is a qualified bidder for the Mactan Cebu International Airport Public-Private Partnership Project and direct the PBAC, the Department of Transportation and Communication, and the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority to desist from issuing a notice of award or executing a Concession Agreement in favor of GMR-Megawide consortium."

Osmeña's petition raised two issues. The first is whether the bids and awards committee is permitted to exercise tolerance in the implementation of the rules even if the same rules do not permit any.

Second is whether an operator - even if it has operated an airport for three years - should qualify even if it has derogatory track record and unsuccessful commercial operations.

Osmeña also explained his reason for directly going to the Supreme Court.

"Petitioner is constrained to file directly this action directly with this Honorable Court in view of its transcendental importance to the nation, considering the project's economic impact to the well-being of our people. The trial courts are not authorized to restrain infrastructure projects so petitioner is compelled to seek direct relief from the Supreme Court," he said.  — /LPM (FREEMAN)


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