Airline owners still barred from Mactan airport bidding

Posted at 01/15/13 6:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The government kept its decision to prohibit airline owners from joining the auction of the P17-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport project to avoid any conflict of interest.

"It (bidding for Mactan airport) is proceeding as we have planned and we are sticking to the guidelines that airline operators are ineligible to participate because of sheer conflict of interest," Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya told reporters on Tuesday.

The bidding guidelines prevent diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp., which has a 49% stake in flag carrier Philippine Airlines, and Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings, which owns Cebu Air, Inc. (Cebu Pacific), from joining the auction.

Abaya reiterated the DOTC wanted to make sure there would be no conflict of interest as an airport operator could make availability of slots, gates, counters, lounges, and baggage handling more difficult for their competitors.

"We want to eliminate all forms of conflicts of interest. I could vouch for the integrity of our BAC (Bids and Awards Committee) since their decisions are in accordance with rules and their integrity are intact and reputable and defensible to anybody," Abaya said.

A pre-qualification conference has been slated for Jan. 28, and interested bidders are required to submit their qualification documents on or before Feb. 28.

Pre-qualified bidders will be required to submit technical and financial proposals on or before Aug. 2, and the Notice of Award is expected to be given Sept. 17.