Source: Manila Bulletin, 19 December 2011


MANILA, Philippines — The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has made it clear that all its infrastructure and development projects in Clark will be conducted through competitive public bidding and not through the unsolicited mode.

“Whether it is an infra or development project in Clark, we are very clear it is for competitive public bidding,” said BCDA president Arnel Casanova.

Casanova told reporters that the magnitude of investments for the lined up Clark development and infrastructure projects dictate the projects should be put through a public bidding.

He explained that under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) law, the basis for the Public Private Partnership (PPP) program, an unsolicited model can only be applied to exceptional situations like the proponent has the exclusive technology that can be applied for a particular government project.

The President’s approval must also be secured on unsolicited proposals.

The huge infrastructure projects include the Clark terminal airport and the railway project that will connect Clark to Manila.

Already, he said, some British firms have met with him recently to discuss about the Clark projects.

“The economic counselor’s office of the British Embassy’ here has called me for a meeting because some British firms are interested on the airport and the railway projects of Clark,” he said.

Casanova said that businessman Manny Pangilinan of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. has expressed interest in the Clark terminal and in the railway projects of BCDA.

Earlier, BCDA chairman Felicito C. Payumo, also main author of the BOT scheme, has batted for Pangilinan’s unsolicited offer to construct on BOT basis an elevated highway that will connect both South Luzon and North Luzon expressways.

In a statement issued by BCDA, Payumo said that NAIA’s air traffic problem was that airline movements in terms of take-offs and landings had already exceeded the scheduling limit of 36 movements per hour, prompting calls to either transfer NAIA’s operations to Clark airport in Pampanga or link the two premier airports, with both measures meant to decongest the air traffic at NAIA.

Payumo said MPTC’s unsolicited offer, now in the stage of competitive challenge, qualified under the BOT law.

“What could be more important, strategic and game changing than decongesting NAIA through a link up with DMIA at Clark, while helping solve the horrendous traffic problem of Greater Manila?” he added.

MPTC has already informed the Department of Public Works and Highways of its desire to build above the PNR alignment from North Harbor to Skyway’s northern end at Buendia in Makati City at a cost of P20-billion. It will be an elevated highway of 13 kms in length and 2×2 lanes in width.

The elevated highway would connect to Manila North Tollways Corp.’s 11-kms harbor-link road project costing another P10 billion which will connect to NLEx-Mindanao Avenue junction.

Payumo described MPTC’s offer as strategic, given that it would link four highly populated regions – Southern Luzon, Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Northern Luzon. With this connector, he said, “the seamlessly connected SLEx, NLEx, SCTEx and TPLEx (or Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway) will make travel from Manila to Baguio an easy three hours, reduce driving time between NAIA and DMIA, a distance of 100 kms, a mere 70 minutes instead of two or even three hours, and make the construction of a budget carrier terminal in DMIA viable while the express train project is awaited.”

He added the project, to be built at no cost to the government, would “create thousands of jobs and cause a multiplier effect on the economy. There will be no government direct guarantee on loans or against market risks.”