Philippines set to auction P123-B highway-dike project

Posted at 06/20/2014 12:27 PM

MANILA - The Philippines will start an auction process in the next three months for a P122.8-billion ($2.8 billion) highway and dike project, the biggest offered under a scheme partnering the public and private sectors, a senior official said on Friday.

An inter-agency body headed by President Benigno Aquino approved late on Thursday the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike project, which aims to ease flooding and traffic in eastern parts of Manila on the way to industrialising provinces in the south.

The auction process "will start within the next quarter," Cosette Canilao, head of the Public-Private Partnership Center, told Reuters.

The contract is for a 37-year concession to design, build and operate a 47-kilometer highway-dike that runs along the shoreline of Laguna de Bay, the country's largest lake.

The government also approved a $1.5 billion contract to extend Manila's three-decade-old elevated railway, LRT Line 1, project, awarding the project to the only bidder - a consortium formed by Ayala Corp AC, Metro Pacific Investments Corp and Macquarie Group Ltd.

Laguna Lakeshore and LRT 1 are the kind of major projects that the Philippines needs in order to improve its inadequate infrastructure and attract more foreign direct investment.

Aquino also approved two new public-private partnership projects to redevelop and operate the Laguindingan and Bohol airports in southern and central Philippines, worth a combined P16.96 billion.