SMC insists bid for CALAX is compliant

Posted at 06/05/14 1:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines - San Miguel Corp. on Thursday maintained its bid security for the P35-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) project is fully compliant with the bidding rules.

This is contrary to the claims made by rival bidders that SMC's infrastructure arm Optimal Infrastructure Development, Inc. committed violations in its bid and should be disqualified.

"We are compliant. We have a very competitive bid and we are confident we can give government the best deal for the benefit of the taxpayers and the country,” Raoul Romulo, authorized representative of Optimal Infrastructure, said in a statement.

Optimal said issuing bank ANZ issued a certification to the Department of Public Works and Highways that its bid security "is indeed valid and effective for 180 days from June 2 until November 29 instead of November 25."

Romulo said the issues raised by its rival bidders are "insignificant" and will not change the overall financial bid.

Malaysia’s Alloy MTD Philippines; Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz group’s Team Orion; and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.’s MPCALA Holdings Inc. manifested their objections to SMC's bid with the Department of Public Works and Highways.

MPCALA Holdings had sent a letter to DPWH undersecretary and SBAC chairman Rafael Yabut to raise the issue on SMC’s bid security.

"The bid security of Optimal Infrastructure shall expire on Nov. 25., indicating that the bid security of Optimal Infrastructure is only valid and effective for 176 days from the bid proposal submission date,” MPCALA said.

For the P35.4 billion-CALAX project, the DPWH required a validity period of at least 180 days from the bidding date or June 2 until November 29.

The other bidders had also raised objections about the packaging and sealing of Optimal's boxes, which contained the bid proposal.

"This, among the other issues they are raising, is immaterial to the outcome of the final bid. Let’s not waste our energy pulling each other down but rather focus on the more important matter which is the financial proposal and who can offer the best deal on the table," Romulo said.

The four groups had submitted their technical proposals for the CALAX project earlier this week.

The 44.6-kilometer project will connect Cavite and Laguna directly, helping reduce travel time in the area.

The project involves the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the expressway project that starts from Cavite Expressway in Kawit and ends at Mamplasan interchange of South Luzon Expressway in Biñan, Laguna.