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PPA looking to award unsolicited port projects before gov’t term ends

  • The Philippine Ports Authority hopes to award unsolicited proposals for three port projects before the end of the current administration’s term and the start of the election ban on new public works
  • PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago said “the ball is in NEDA’s court” on the fate of proposals to develop the ports of Iloilo, Davao-Sasa and General Santos
  • PPA is also looking into other options, such as having the proponents participate instead in the bidding of port terminal management contracts

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) hopes to have the unsolicited proposals for three port projects awarded before the end of the current administration’s term and the start of the election ban on new public works.

PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago said, however, that “the ball is in NEDA’s (National Economic and Development Authority) court right now” on the outcome of the unsolicited proposals to develop the ports of Iloilo, Davao-Sasa and General Santos.

“All of those unsolicited proposals are currently pending with the NEDA for evaluation and we are in continuous communication with the NEDA for the additional documents, additional requirements that they are requiring,” Santiago said in a virtual media briefing on September 13.

He said PPA has already submitted all requirements, including answers to clarification on certain documents, to NEDA and is waiting for feedback.

“Of course, we are hopeful… that the government should be able to approve and award those three projects to the winning [proponents] later on, but of course we are all dependent on the actions of the NEDA and the ICC [Investment Coordination Committee],” he added.

PPA already granted original proponent status (OPS) to Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. in 2019 for its proposed modernization of Davao-Sasa port. The OPS was also granted in 2020 to International Container Terminal Services, Inc., which is proposing to modernize the Iloilo Port Complex and the Port of Dumangas in Iloilo province, as well as to Kudos Trucking Corp. for its proposal to rehabilitate and develop General Santos port.

If approved by NEDA, the unsolicited proposals will go through a Swiss challenge.

Santiago noted, however, that the proponents have aired concerns over the long processing time their proposals are experiencing and the possibility that the projects will be overtaken by the election ban on new public works.

He said PPA is discussing other options with the proponents, one of which is for PPA to bid out the port terminal management contracts under its port terminal management regulatory framework (PTMRF), which he noted is a faster option.

READ: PPA to implement soon new rules on award of terminal contracts

PPA in 2019 started bidding out port terminal management contracts of various ports under its PTMRF, which outlines the authority’s new rules for terminal management contracts.

PTMRF, under PPA Administrative Order No. 03-2016, seeks to provide higher quality port service by promoting private sector participation.

Under this framework, investments in ports are to be categorized into six tiers, ranging from a fully private concession to a fully PPA-managed port, to make it easier to determine the investment arrangements of a port.

Moreover, concessions will be performance- or outcome-based, instead of investment-based or based on the number of equipment or facilities to be provided by the concessionaire.

PPA has already completed bidding out nine port projects and is in the process of bidding out three more.

READ: 2 firms win 9 PPA port management contracts

Santiago noted, however, that if the proponents shift to joining a PTMRF bidding instead, they would have to follow the investment plan depending on which tier their target ports are included.

Moreover, the tariff rates under PTMRF are standardized by PPA and may be lower than the proposed tariff of the proponents, which is based on their proposed investment’s amount and recovery. – Roumina Pablo

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