Rappler, 21 July 2014
To do this, the agency says fairness, openness, and transparency in the bidding process must be maintained
MANILA, Philippines â€“ Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said they intend to erase the backlog in transportation infrastructure in the next 5 to 10 years, to meet the countryâ€™s needs in the 10 to 20 years that will follow.
In doing this, he stressed that fairness, openness, and transparency must be upheld in bidding and procurement processes.
DOTC has cornered 28 PPP projects worth P529.41 billion ($12.19 billion*) out of 57 Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects in the pipeline.
The government has so far awarded about P68 billion ($1.56 billion) PPPs, among them are the following:
Apart from the AFCS and Mactan airport projects, DOTC is set to award the P65-billion ($1.50 billion)Â LRT 1 Cavite Extension ProjectÂ to the Light Rail Manila Consortium led by infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corporation and conglomerate Ayala Corporation.
Abaya said vital in addressing the infrastructure backlog is maintaining the trust of investors in the bidding process.
Like in a romantic relationship, he said a crack in the trust would be difficult to recover from.
â€śIf we do any act or make any decision which would sow distrust or shake investor confidence in our processes and practices, we may lose all potential bidders for our future projects altogether,â€ť he said.
He made this statement following a slew ofÂ cases filed by losing and disqualified biddersÂ for PPP projects.
The secretary also expressed gratitude that despite the controversies arising from project biddings, numerous companies â€“ both foreign and local â€“ continue to participate in the government infrastructure projects.
â€śWe take this as a vote of confidence in our work, both in terms of structuring projects, as well as in ensuring fairness, openness, and transparency in our bids.â€ť â€“Â Rappler.com
(*$1 = P43.50)
The Philippine Star, 21 July 2014
By Lawrence Agcaoili
MANILA, Philippines – The Aquino administration aims wipe out the backlog in transportation infrastructure in the Philippines over the next five to 10 years.
â€śWe envision erasing the backlog in transportation infrastructure over the next five to 10 years. In such a way that the infrastructure we build will meet the countryâ€™s needs for the 10 to 20 years that follow,â€ť Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said.
Abaya pointed out that fairness, openness, and transparency are the hallmarks of bidding and procurement processes under the Aquino administration.
â€śWe realize how any crack in the trust between the public and the private sectors will be difficult to recover from if thereâ€™s strain on the relationship. If we do any act or make any decision which would sow distrust or shake investor confidence in our processes and practices, we may lose all potential bidders for our future projects altogether,â€ť he said.
Abaya made the statement amid the slew of cases filed against the government with regard to the bidding of public private partnership (PPP) projects including the proposed P1.4 billion Metro Rail Transit and Light Rail Transit (MRT-LRT) common station, the P35.4 billion Cavite-Laguna expressway project, the P65-billion LRT1 Cavite extension project, the P3.8-billion MRT3 capacity expansion project, among others.
â€śThankfully, despite all these controversies which have been raised against the bidding out of our projects at the transportation department, numerous companies â€“ both foreign and local â€“ continue to participate in our bids.Â We take this as a vote of confidence in our work, both in terms of structuring projects, as well as in ensuring fairness, openness, and transparency in our bids,â€ť he explained.
The PPP Center earlier reported that the DOTC has cornered 28 PPP projects worth P529.41 billion out of the 57 PPP projects in the pipeline.
InterAksyon, 21 July 2014
By Darwin G. Amojelar
MANILA – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) expects the Philippines to suffer from a transportation gap at least in the next 5 years.
“We envision erasing the backlog in transportation infrastructure over the next 5 to 10 years, in such a way that the infrastructure we build will meet the countryâ€™s needs for the 10 to 20 years that follow,” Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said.
“Fairness, openness, and transparency are the hallmarks of bidding and procurement processes under the law. They are the hallmarks of the procurement process under the Aquino administration,” Abaya said.
Out of the 57 projects worth P530 billion under the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) program, DOTC is set to undertake 28.
It has awarded the P1.72 billion Automated Fare Collection System to a consortium of the Ayala and Metro Pacific groups, and the P17.5 billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport Project to the GMR-Megawide consortium.
The department is also set to award the P64.9 billon LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension Project to another joint venture between the Ayala and Metro Pacific groups, and will soon bid out the P2.5 billion Integrated Terminal System Southwest Project.
PPP projects to be bid out under DOTC include the operations and maintenance (O&M) contracts of the following airports: Laguindingan, New Bohol (Panglao), Puerto Princesa, Davao, Bacolod , and Iloilo. Also up for auction are the Motor Vehicle Inspection Project, Mass Transit System Loop and the North South Commuter Rail, which would start from Malolos in Bulacan to Calamba in Laguna.
Other projects are the O&M and extension of the LRT2, the Davao Sasa Port and the Integrated Terminal System North and South projects.
Since launching its PPP Program in 2010, the Aquino administration has awarded the following 7 projects:
The government is banking on the PPP projects to plug the countryâ€™s infrastructure gap and create jobs in the process.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) had said the PPP initiative would require up to P739.78 billion in investments through 2016 to boost the economy and the countryâ€™s investment rate.
Under its medium-term development plan, the government expects the economy to grow between 7-8 percent through 2016. The Aquino administration also aims to raise its investment rate to 18 percent of gross domestic product by the end of its term from 14 percent at present.
InterAksyon, 21 July 2014
ByÂ Zorayda S. Tecson, Philippines News Agency
SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Philippines -Â The government’s infrastructure spending is a manifestation of the Aquino administration’s determined efforts to accelerate development in the region through the construction of the major roads, highways and flood control projects under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative.
Other projects being implemented in the region are under the convergence program such as the tourism infrastructure in coordination with the Department of Tourism and the construction of farm to market roads with the Department of Agriculture and Department of Agrarian Reform.
Severino Santos, regional director of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), said the government wants to pursue infrastructure development to help boost economic growth, attract investors and create more jobs.
One of these infrastructures is the 88.85-kilometer Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), which is seen as a vital road project in Luzon, connecting the Central and Northern Luzon provinces to Manila and beyond through the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).
Currently, a 49.30- kilometer stretch of the TPLEX from Tarlac City to Rosales, Pangasinan is operational.
On progress is the 13.72 kilometer stretch from Rosales to Urdaneta, including construction of the 950-meter Agno viaduct.
The remaining 25.83-kilometer section from Urdaneta to Rosario, La Union will be completed in 2018.
From end to end, the TPLEX will traverse 17 towns and two cities (Tarlac and Urdaneta) across four provinces: Tarlac, Pangasinan, La Union and Nueva Ecija.
The government, through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has also completed the first phase of the Plaridel By-Pass Road which involved 14.65 kilometers road, 2.40 kilometers access road, and seven bridges starting from North Luzon Expressway via a new interchange in Barangay Burol, Balagtas to the junction of Alejo Santos Road in Bustos, Bulacan.
It realized travel time savings of 20-23 minutes and directly benefitting the towns of Balagtas, Plaridel, Pandi, Bustos, Baliuag, Angat and San Rafael.
Also in the pipeline is the proposed North Luzon Expressway(NLEX) East project and the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX), Phase 1 (Tarlac-Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija)
The NLEX East project will form an important transport access in the eastern area of Central Luzon.
With a length of 92.1 km., the project consists of Phase I and Phase II which is up to Cabanatuan City starting from the end point of La-Mesa Parkway and/or junction of C-6 in San Jose del Monte via Norzagaray, Angat, San Ildefonso, San Miguel, Gapan, and Sta. Rosa in parallel with the Pan Philippine Highway.
The CLLEX Phase I, on the other hand, will form an important lateral (east-west) link for the overall expressway network of the region.
With a total length of 30.7 kilometers, the construction of a four-lane expressway will start from Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) at 2.5 km north of Luisita Interchange and will end in Cabanatuan City.
Likewise, the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Central Luzon has began to roll up its sleeves to implement important projects that will further boost socio-economic development projects in the region.
â€śWe will prioritize projects based on the benefits of the region and we will see to it that no province in Central Luzon will be left behind,â€ť RDC-3 chairman and Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado earlier said.
Alvarado said the RDC-3 will be pushing for what they termed as the â€śmissing linkâ€ť in further boosting the Clark International Airport â€“the mothballed Northrail project which will connect the regionâ€™s premiere international airport to Metro Manila and that will also compliment the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Among the projects that the RDC-3 will focus on are the revival of the Pampanga River Control System; the Bataan Expressway connecting the province to the Subic Freeport; the western river flood control project in Zambales; the Balog-balog project in Tarlac; costal roads and the conversion of the Bayabas river into a dam in Bulacan.
Meanwhile, the government has prioritized the flood control projects to ease flooding in the low-lying areas in the region.
These include the restoration and rehabilitation of San Fernando- Sto. Tomas-Minalin Tail dike with a cost of P139 million and the construction of spillway No. 1 and spillway no. 3 including clearing and desilting/excavation of tributary rivers (P637 million); rehabilitation works on Del Carmen â€“ Balimbing creek in San Fernando and the rehabilitation of the Apalit-Arayat breached dike (P124 million), all in Pampanga.
In Bataan, five flood mitigation projects worth P55 million are being undertaken by the DPWH in Pilar town and dredging works along Orani channel worth P50 million.
Other ongoing projects in the region include the Valenzuela-Obando-Meycauayan project costing P1.53 billion and the dredging of Labangan Channel in Hagonoy, Bulacan .
Under the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project â€“ Phase 3 (ARISP-III), the DPWH said that 19 projects having total road length of 49.54 kilometers, at a cost of P224 million were completed in the region.
Likewise, the government is continuously upgrading the Clark International Airport that include the expansion of its passenger terminal building from 11,000 to 17,000 square meters.
There are also plans to build a new budget terminal which is expected to be approved by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) this August.
However, the â€śbiggest developmentâ€ť in the region as what President Benigno Aquino earlier said would be the proposed Clark Green City, a project of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.
Recently approved by NEDA, the Clark Green City project is envisioned to become the country’s most modern and the first technologically-integrated city.
The Clark Green City is located within the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) and at the heart of the bustling urban centers and major infrastructures in Central Luzon.
The first phase of the Clark Green City, which comprises 1,300 hectares of the 9,450-hectare land, will be up for bidding by the third quarter of this year.
Meanwhile, the construction of vital infrastructure and tourism projects needed for the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) slated to be held in major areas in the region in 2015 are ongoing.
These projects include the upgrading of the Pandan-Magalang Road costing P60 million; the Mac-Arthur Highway in the Balibago commercial district (P41.5 million); and the Friendship Road (P60 million); and the widening and upgrade of the drainage system along Don Bonifacio Road (P19 million), all in Clark and Angeles City in Pampanga.
Oxford Business Group, 15 July 2014
The government in the Philippines is giving a new push to major construction projects awarded under a public-private partnership scheme, putting the building sector on a strong growth path after last year’s Typhoon Haiyan wrecked havoc in the southeast Asian country.
The construction industry has already shown impressive growth so far this year. Residential building and reconstruction efforts have been driving the surge after the tropical cyclone, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, hit the Visayas islands in November 2013. One of the strongest typhoons ever recorded in terms of wind speed, it caused total losses estimated at $12bn-$15bn, according to Kinetic Analysis Corp, a US-based hazard research company.
President Benigno Aquinoâ€™s government seems determined to move forward with mothballed developments, while simultaneously rolling out major new roads and utilities projects as part of the PPP scheme, which has been hit by severe delays since its launch in 2010.
The Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) announced in June that the total number of approved building permits had grown by a fifth during the first quarter of 2014 year-on-year to reach 29,468. The total project value was PHP61bn ($1.4bn), a 4.3% increase over the first quarter of 2013. The number of residential building projects, which accounted for the bulk of new building permits, increased 17% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, the number of construction permits issued for additions, alterations and repairs of existing structures totalled 5,474 during the first quarter, a 42% year-on-year jump, with part of this hike attributed to reconstruction efforts following Typhoon Haiyan.
Reconstruction works and major infrastructure projects are expected to continue to fuel the growth of the construction industry. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) approved a PHP123bn ($2.81bn) highway and dyke project in June, which will be put to tender before 2015.
The Laguna Lakeshore Expressway-Dyke project involves the construction of a 47-km dyke on top of which will be a high-speed six-lane motorway. It is expected to protect an estimated 200,000 households, or 1m Filipinos, living in low-lying, flood-prone communities. The motorway was deemed an urgent priority following extensive flooding in Laguna and south Metro Manila caused by Typhoon Ondoy in 2009, and a long period of damaging monsoon floods in 2012 and 2013.
Previous PPP projects have been hit by severe delays with The Economist Intelligence Unit reporting two years ago that none of the governmentâ€™s 10 original planned projects had yet been put to tender. Recognising the need for timely delivery of new infrastructure, the government has begun a new push to implement PPP projects, announcing in June that it will shortly award a PHP65bn ($1.5bn) contract for a railway linking Manila to Cavite, as well as a PHP35.4bn ($809m) project for a toll road located south of Metro Manila. At the same time, NEDA recently approved a bid by Ayala Corp and Metro Pacific Investments Corp to build the planned Light Rail Transit (LRT) line, a contract worth PHP9.35bn ($214m), PPP Centre Executive Director Cosette Canilao told local media.
The Transportation Departmentâ€™s biggest PPP project yet, a PHP271bn ($6.2bn) North-South commuter railway in Luzon is expected to be offered to investors towards the end of this year or early next year with a hybrid PPP structure being studied, Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya told reporters at the end of June.
Two major water supply projects, the first time utility projects have been included in the PPP scheme, are also on the cards. Bidding for the two contracts, which are worth a combined total of PHP43bn ($983m), opened in June, with a final decision expected during the first half of 2015. The first of these is a PHP24.4bn ($558m) contract to supply water to Bulacan, in the north of Manila, and the second involves construction of a dam in the northeast of Manila, worth an estimated PHP18.7bn ($428m.)
With President Aquino fast-tracking major infrastructure projects, private contractors are set to see considerable activity. However, the increased demand for cement could pose a major problem. The Iloilo province has experienced a serious cement shortage following the launch of several major construction and real estate projects in the area, Worldcement.com reported in June. Projects including a PHP1bn ($22.86m) convention centre, as well as continuing road and infrastructure projects, have driven suppliers to limit the amount of cement sold in one transaction to ten bags according to reports.
Cement shortages are reportedly worst in the northern part of the province, which was heavily damaged during Typhoon Haiyan. This shortage, while highly localised, nonetheless underscores the need to ensure steady supply of new materials; a 2010 cement shortage, for example, saw cement prices surge from PHP205 ($4.69) per bag, to PHP270 ($6.17).
The Philippine Star, 15 July 2014
By Neil Jerome C. Morales
MANILA, Philippines – Megawide Construction Corp., one of the countryâ€™s top building contractors, has temporarily shelved its plan to export pre-fabricated construction materials to Southeast Asian neighbors.
Instead, the listed construction company will return to the drawing board for its export plans as it focuses on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects and existing contracts, a ranking company executive said.
â€śWe bumped into some obstacles but we are still keen on exporting,â€ť Megawide chief financial officer Oliver Tan said in an interview.
â€śWe still have to go back to the drawing board.â€ť
Megawide earlier targeted to start the shipment of pre-fabricated construction materials to a Southeast Asian residential project contractor this year, in line with the companyâ€™s plans of diversifying its revenue stream in the long run.
The firmâ€™s P1-billion pre-cast production plant in Taytay, Rizal is the biggest one-stop shop of pre-cast concrete building systems in the country and one of the largest in Southeast Asia. Construction materials such as beams, columns, stairs and walls are produced in the plant.
In the meantime, Megawide will focus on big-ticket infrastructure projects and existing contracts to maximize its production capacity.
â€śThereâ€™s so many things going on locally,â€ť Tan said, adding that pre-fabricated slabs are increasingly being used in local construction projects.
He said their current projects are sufficient to keep the pre-fabrication plant busy with a utilization rate of around 70 percent.
Megawide has bagged four PPP projects to date: the P17.5-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the P5.7-billion new Philippine Orthopedic Center, PPP School Infrastructure Project Phase One (PSIP-1) and PSIP-2.
â€śInfrastructure is needed in the country to facilitate the delivery of basic services to the population,â€ť said Megawide president Edgar Saavedra, adding that the company has the technology to deliver infrastructure projects.
Megawide, which started as a contractor for residential towers, particularly those of SM Development Corp., corners between 15-17 percent of the high-rise construction business in the Philippines.
Last month, Megawide announced it is venturing into $100 million worth of power generation projects.
The Philippine Star, 14 July 2014
By Lawrence Agacaoili
MANILA, Philippines – State-run Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is looking at privatizing four major ports as part of efforts to transform major ports into world-class facilities to complement the operations of the congested Ports of Manila.
PPA general manager Juan Sta. Ana said the agency is awaiting the completion of the feasibility study to determine the mode of privatization of major ports in Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, and General Santos.
Sta. Ana said the PPA is looking at installing cranes at the four major ports to complement the operation at the Manila North Harbor.
If viable, he explained that the PPA would tap the Aquino administrationâ€™s public private partnership (PPP) scheme to privatize the four ports.
According to him, the privatization of the Sasa Wharf in Davao is now pending before the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
He pointed out that the two consultants hired by the PPA to conduct the feasibility study for the privatization of the port has concluded their study and have submitted their respective recommendations to the PPA.
The PPA, which is currently celebrating its 40th Anniversary, has successfully privatized major ports in Manila as well as Batangas.
Listed International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) of port and gaming mogul Enrique Razon has poured in P20 billion into the operations of the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) that now has the capability to handle post-panamax vessels while port capacity has already reached at least 2.5 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
On the other hand, Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) likewise has committed to invest $500 million until 2030 to modernize the operations of the Manila South Harbor that has the capability to handle post-panamax vessels and its capacity has already reached one million TEUs.
Manila North Harbour Port Inc. (MNHPI), a joint venture between the Harbour Centre Port Terminals Inc. and diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), is sinking in P14 billion to modernize the Manila North Harbor that now boasts of a world-class passenger terminal building while its cargo terminal is likewise being upgraded.
ATI has also committed to invest more at the Batagas port after the government poured P5 billion to groom the port facility as an alternative port with a capacity of 450,000 TEUs to handle spillover cargo of Asiaâ€™s cargo hubs like Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, among others.
Aside from the four major gateways, Sta. Ana said the PPA was also able to upgrade to world standards seven more ports to make sure that the Philippines is able to accommodate the increasing demand in the international markets.
Port Technology International, 14 July 2014
PPAâ€™s general manager Juan C Sta Ana said his agency is looking at developing the ports in Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga and General Santos under a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.
Sta Ana said: â€śWe are studying the four ports and whether or not to include them in the PPP initiative. If it is not viable to include them in the PPP list, we will finance the port-development projects.â€ť
He added: â€śWe are busy harmonising the results to come up with a win-win solution on how to carry out the privatisation to pave the way for the modernisation of Sasa Wharf, the countryâ€™s major port for banana exports.â€ť
The development of Davao Sasa Port on the island of Mindanao involves the construction and modernisation of its port infrastructure, including a new apron, back-up area expansion, linear quay, container yards, warehouses, and the installation of new equipment, such as ship-to-shore cranes and RTGs.
The Freeman, 14 July 2014
By Carlos S. Lorenciana
CEBU, Philippines – The public-private partnership scheme will continue to support the provincial government’s planned infrastructure projects believed to drive Cebu’s economy further.
For one, a third bridge that will link mainland Cebu and Mactan Island, specifically Barangay Pilipog in Cordova town is now being studied.
The P15-billion Mactan-Cebu link project is expected to start next year and is seen to be operational in 2018.
In an interview, Capitol Information Officer Ethel Natera told The FREEMAN that a feasibility project study is now being conducted by a private company.
The firm is Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. which is the one operating some expressways in the capital such as Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway, North Luzon Expressway and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway.
After the completion of the study, Natera said it will be presented to the provincial government for approval. If approved, the province and other stakeholders will then pursue the measures of the PPP program which involves a thorough bidding process.
The said project will also have a tripartite agreement among the winning bidder, the provincial government and the municipal government of Cordova.
The information officer expressed confidence the proposed bridge will largely help the economy of Cordova as the transport of goods and mobility of its residents will become more easy and convenient.
With the current heavy traffic problems experienced in Mactan, she said there really is a need to build another one — now to connect Cordova.
The project is expected to make transportation more efficient and to have an impact on production outputs, economical travel time and the economy in general.
Trans Axial highway revisited
Moreover, the dream of the late Vice Governor Greg Sanchez for the Trans Axial Highway in the province will soon be realized as Governor Hilario Davide III has said the proposal for the expressway development is now being revisited.
The 300-kilometer highway project will traverse from Barangay Poblacion of Santander in the south to Barangay Maya of Daanbantayan in the north. The project will come with the creation of reclamation areas, economic zones and seaports as well.
â€śIt will make travel time faster kay everything is faster sa pag-transfer sa goods and the people,â€ť Natera noted, adding that this will cut travel time from Daanbantayan to Santader.
She also added the implementation of the project may probably take five years as it will have to go through a feasibility study, bidding process and the construction time. The government again wants a PPP to fund the project.
The Capitol official also revealed the provincial government received a P5 million grant from the Canadian government for the rehabilitation of roads in Northern Cebu which was badly affected by super typhoon Yolanda last year to boost again the tourism industry in the place.
The Capitol has also asked the Department of Transportation and Communications through the Mactan-Cebu International Airport officials to have feasibility studies on the plan to build Sta. Fe (in Bantayan Island) and San Francisco (in Camotes Island) airports.
It also assured to support the private sector in their initiatives to develop tourism, one of the key industries and drivers of Cebuâ€™s economic development.
In addition, the Provincial Board has also established the provinceâ€™s 2014 Investments and Incentives Code that aims to create a good investment climate and bring development and jobs to the countryside.
It also seeks to encourage local and foreign investors to build businesses in the province and develop the agricultural, industrial and service industries in the countryside.