Gov’t urged to address Mactan airport project delay
BUSINESS and civic group leaders aired their concern over the delay of the awarding of the winning bid for the P17.5 billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport new terminal project urging the government to make a decision as soon as possible and answer all the issues being raised.
The announcement of the winning bidder for the expansion project should have been made last January 5, however, it has to be delayed after one of the bidders Filinvest Group raised issues on the unsatisfactory performance record of Megawide Construction Corp. and its partner Indian company GMT Infrastructure Ltd.
Filinvest with partner Singapore’s Changi Group cited Megawide’s financial woes and GMR’s unclear long-term commitment to the project.
Filinvest said this would put a risk to the creation of a world-class airport in an already globally known destination that is Cebu.
The complaints on the credibility of the bidders should have been raised before the bidding proper or during the pre-qualification to avoid issues like this, said Philip N. Tan, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president.
“Since they were deemed qualified, then we leave that to government to give the final decision,” Tan said.
The Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) Board and the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) must immediately attend to the protest and resolve the issue the soonest time possible to avoid further delay, said Prudencio Gesta, former president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“I’m not sure of the specifics of the protest but I could only assume that all factors have been covered up and properly evaluated and reviewed before any company to be accredited as qualified bidder. Among others, the financial capability of the company to finish the project is very important,” Gesta said.
He said that the project needs to be started as soon as possible specially that Cebu is also trying to host most of the APEC Summit Meetings that will start later this year.
“Moreover, the expansion and renovation of Mactan airport terminal is very crucial to attract more tourists to visit Cebu and the rest of the country,” Gesta said.
A business leader however is encouraging the government to study the complaint before making a decision.
“The old terminal would have been renovated and would be adequate. The real issue here is the selection of the right consortium for the project and need in what I have read and heard I am glad that the selection had been delayed. It needs serious study,” said Gordon Alan Joseph, Cebu Business Club president.
But a hotel group head is calling on the government to resolve the issue quickly.
“Time is running fast and the longer the delay the more likely it will affect traffic in our airport. I believe the decision makers involved in this issue are all aware of the situation that we are working in a tight timeline. They should address this concern as soon as possible,” said Cenelyn Manguilimotan, Hotel Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) president.
The bidding committee opened and reviewed bidding documents which includes the design and the bidding amount last December 12 with the Megawide-GMR consortium giving the highest bid of P14.4 billion which is P400 million higher than the second highest bidder Filinvest-Singapore Changi Group.
MCIA general manager Nigel Paul Villarete said the Pre-Bidding and Awards Committee is set to present their findings in a meeting yesterday afternoon with the members of the MCIAA board.
“The findings will be deliberated so I don’t know the final action yet, subject to documentary requirements, it will go up to the Secretary for the issuance of the award,” Villarete said.
He added that there are no new dates given yet but they are putting it as a priority.
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