Bidder wants Megawide out

(The Freeman) - November 11, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - A “bidder” in the P800-million reduplication project of the Phi-lippine Air Force facilities in the Mactan  Benito Ebuen Air Base is requesting the anti-graft office to investigate and disqualify Megawide Construction Corp.

In his letter received by the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas, complainant-bidder Crisologo Saavedra is requesting for an immediate investigation and disqualification of Megawide for alleged conflict of interest.

“Our urgent request is in connection with our mission to protect the government and the public interest, and the qualified contractors who are left in the dark of the disadvantageous situation that will be created by the conflict of interest,” said Saavedra.

He added that the disqualification has to be done before November 24, 2014 so as not to delay the project.

Saavedra claimed he represented a qualified bidder who participated in the pre-bid conference last November 4 and bought documents from the Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) of MCIAA in the amount of P75,000.

“We are not here to criticize the actions of Megawide/GMR for their honest intentions to do business, but to protect them from legal problem, the project from being delayed and most of all the members of the SBAC due to a conflict of interest situation,” Saavedra said.

Saavedra pointed out that before the bidding of the PAF reduplication project, GMR-Megawide was operating the airport with MCIA together as a government corporation under Private-Public Partnership. Saavedra said this allows GMR-Megawide access to the vital information of the project.

“In this situation a conflict of interest will exist and will give advantage to Megawide, a violation of RA 9184 bidding procedures,” he said referring to the Government Procurement Reform Act.

In December 2013, GMR Infrastructure in partnership with Megawide Construction Corp. of Philippines emerged as the highest bidder after offering a bid premium of P14.4 billion for the management and development of Mactan-Cebu International Airport. The 25-year concession agreement of the DOTC and Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority’s with GMR-Megawide entails the construction of a new, world-class international passenger terminal building, which will be constructed beginning next year and will be opened in 2018.

The PAF Reduplication Project is the construction of another air base facility that will be affected by the airport expansion project.

Saavedra claimed the GMR-Megawide as the PPP partner of MCIAA is involved in the planning and preparation of the PAF reduplication project.

GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. president and Megawide chief marketing officer Louie Ferrer earlier said they are concerned that if a different contractor undertakes the project and is not able to start on time, the construction of the Airport Terminal 2 will be affected.

“GMCAC, as concessionaire of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, is committed to on-time delivery of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2. However, its delivery of T2 is hugely dependent on the on-time delivery of the PAF replication project as the PAF facilities may only be moved from the area where part of T2 will rise when its relocation site is made available,” it said in a statement.

The statement also said Megawide Construction Corp. is participating in the replication project only in the interest of ensuring that the PAF area is vacated promptly to give way to the construction of T2 and the improvement of airport operations. 

Megawide also said they will abide by the law and praised the excellent management by MCIAA of the bidding process thus far. —/BRP (FREEMAN)

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