Philippine $2.6 billion road-dike deal fails to attract bidders

 28 Mar 2016 - 11:12

Philippine $2.6 billion road-dike deal fails to attract bidders
Construction workers, carrying steel bars, walk past a Century Spire advertisements at its construction site in Manila in this July 1, 2014.

By Siegfrid Alegado and Andreo Calonzo

A $2.6 billion Philippine toll road project sitting atop a flood-control dike failed to attract bidders, hindering President Benigno Aquino’s efforts to boost infrastructure ahead of national elections in May.

No bids were received, Ariel Angeles, public works director told reporters in Manila Monday. The Public-Private Partnership Center will let the public works department decide on the next step, Executive Director Andre Palacios said.

Team Trident, a consortium formed by SM Prime Holdings Inc., Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., Megaworld Corp. and Ayala Land Inc. and a group that includes Hanshin Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd were qualified to bid in 2015. San Miguel Holdings Corp. was also allowed to bid.

Cost, time frame and connectivity to business districts in Manila were among reasons Team Trident didn’t submit a bid, spokesman Roman Azanza told reporters in Manila.

The project, the most expensive under the PPP program that has been auctioned, involves a 37-year contract to build, operate and maintain a road-dike south of Manila. Aquino, whose term ends in June, has made infrastructure a priority to boost the nation’s competitiveness and help lure investment.

Aquino has awarded about $4.2 billion of PPP projects since 2010, including the expansion of a railway in Manila and a toll road connecting the provinces of Cavite and Laguna.