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Losing bidder for NAIA upgrade mulls appeal

MANILA, Philippines — The consortium that failed to hurdle the first stage of the bidding process for the upgrade of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is looking at the possibility of docking an appeal before the bidding committee.

Lawyers for Asian Airport Consortium of tycoons Lucio Co and Jefferson Cheng are now studying if they would appeal the case before the PBAC (Pre-Qualification Bids and Awards Committee), an industry source privy to the matter told The STAR yesterday.

The Co-Cheng group failed to pass the technical evaluation of PBAC, thus it was dropped from the bidding even before it could present its financial offer to the government.

Multiple sources, however, said the group’s revenue offer to the government was at least a 75-percent share, which would make it the second highest offer next to the frontrunner, the San Miguel Corp.-led consortium, which in turn offered to remit to the government as much as 82.16 percent of revenue from NAIA operations if it bags the contract.

Thus, sources said it’s not yet clear if the Asian Airport Consortium would still pursue an appeal since its bid is below the frontrunner’s offer anyway. No announcement has been made regarding the matter as of last night.

The SMC-led consortium is leading the race for the contract to operate and maintain NAIA after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) last week opened the financial bids submitted by the remaining groups vying for the 15-year concession to manage the country’s main gateway.

Based on the financial proposals, SMC SAP & Co. Consortium will remit to the government as much as 82.16 percent of revenue from NAIA operations if it bags the contract, while GMR Airports Consortium submitted a proposed share of 33.3 percent.

The Manila International Airport Consortium (MIAC) offered a 25.91 percent share.

Following last week’s results, SMC president and CEO Ramon Ang said the company is prepared to take over the operations and maintenance of NAIA if it lands the contract. His commitment is that NAIA will be elevated to first-rate standards under SMC.

The DOTr said it would choose the proponent that will split the highest revenue share with the government.