Government is moving fast on the development of Clark International Airport, announcing plans to already bid out before the end of the year the operation and maintenance (O&M) contract of the airport.

But the move hinges on whether or not the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will accept the unsolicited proposal of JG Summit-Filinvest.

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the DOTr are set to award next week the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the P12.55-billion expansion of the gateway.

Joshua Bingcang, BCDA chairperson of the special bids and awards committee (SBAC) said the agency is finalizing the term sheet for the O&M bidding which will be published later this month.

“We target to start the bidding activities before the end of the year and still the target is to award the O&M contract in March 2018 to make sure that the O&M (winning bidder) is on board while the winning EPC contractor is finalizing the detailed design of the project to avoid interface problems during the completion and turnover of the terminal to the winning concession ,” said Bingcang, who is also BCDA vice president for Business Development and Operations.

Seven companies have submitted bid documents for the EPC contract: China State Construction Engineering Corp. Ltd., China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd., Sinohydro Corp. Limited, the joint venture of Megawide-GMR Infrastructure (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., DDT Konstract, Inc., R-II Builders, Inc., and Tokwing Construction Corp.

“Out of 12 the bidders which purchased (bid) documents, we got seven , that’s relatively high number for us,” Bingcang said .

The SBAC conducted yesterday the opening, evaluation and deliberation procedure of the eligibility documents of the parties.

The technical proposals of the eligible firms will be opened on December 7 and will be subject to thorough evaluation by the SBAC.

Qualified bidders will then move on to the next phase of the bidding which is the opening and evaluation of the financial documents scheduled on December 14.

The EPC contract will be awarded to the winning bidder on December 15.

The Clark International Airport’s new terminal building will break ground on December 20 at the Clark Civil Aviation Complex in Pampanga.

Bingcang said the project is expected to be completed in 24 months or by June 2020.

After the groundbreaking, the BCDA will publish invitation to bid for the O&M which is targeted to awarded by March 2018.

Bingcang said DOTr will announce this month a decision whether or not to accept the unsolicited proposal of JG Summit-Filinvest. BCDA will then publish the invitation to bid for the O&M.

The Clark International Airport is set to be an alternate global gateway in the country and complements other high-impact legacy projects in the Central Luzon Region under the Build Build Build Infrastructure Program such as the Subic-Clark Cargo Railway, Manila-Clark Railway and the New Clark City—a smart, green, and modern city that will rise in Capas and Bamban, Tarlac.

Filinvest-JG Summit’s proposal includes the long-term development of the airport into the country’s second international gateway as well as O&M of the existing and new terminals under a joint venture with BCDA .

The consortium will also build future capacity augmentation, expand airport facilities including terminals and runways, among others, as well as operate and maintain the existing and new passenger terminals.

By Myla Iglesias