PPA opens bids for port contracts in Bacolod, Romblon

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Carmen port. Screengrab from PPA Port Management Office-Batangas Engineering Services Division's video.
  • The Philippine Ports Authority is bidding contracts for two port clusters in Romblon and the port of Banago in Bacolod City
  • PPA is seeking bidders for the 15-year contracts to manage and operate the cargo-handling, passenger, roll-on/roll-off, and other port services at Banago port, the port cluster of Tablas and Carmen, and port cluster of Romblon and Ambulong
  • Deadline of submission and opening of bids are scheduled on May 8 for Banago port, and May 6 for the two port clusters

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is bidding out contracts for two port clusters in Romblon and the port of Banago in Bacolod City.

The 15-year contracts involve management and operation of the cargo-handling, passenger, roll-on/roll-off, and other port services at Banago port, the port cluster of Tablas (Odiongan) and Carmen, and port cluster of Romblon and Ambulong.

The Banago port contract has a minimum concession fee of P971.881 million and a minimum fee of P28.415 million for the first year of the contract.

The minimum concession fee for the Tablas and Carmen port cluster is P218.261 million, with a minimum fee of P10.115 million for the first year.

For the Romblon and Ambulong port cluster, the minimum concession fee is P113.368 million. For the first year, the minimum fee is P5.254 million.

All concession fee amounts are exclusive of all taxes. Bids below the minimum concession fee will be automatically rejected.

The deadline for submission and opening of bids is on May 8 for Banago port, and May 6 for the two port clusters.

The clustering of port terminal management is contained in PPA Administrative Order (AO) No. 03-2023.

The clustering of ports for bidding will be within the same port management office and shall take into consideration the complementary ports/terminal sub-ports, as well as volume of vessels, cargoes, and passengers.

PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago earlier this year said they are looking at clustering of ports for bidding to stabilize the market of terminals in a particular area and make management of vessel traffic “flexible” in cases such as vessel queuing.

Interested bidders for the three projects must have at least two years of experience in providing port terminal/cargo-handling services, or other related port services, as indicated in completed and ongoing contracts.

Prospective bidders must also not be engaged in any business activity, whether primarily or otherwise, which will prevent it from properly and sufficiently discharging its contractual obligations. This prohibition covers entities engaged in maritime transportation.

The biddings will be conducted through open competitive bidding procedures using non-discretionary pass/fail criterion as specified in PPA AO No. 12-2018, as amended.

AO 12-2018 provides the guidelines for selecting and awarding contracts under PPA’s port terminal management regulatory framework (PTMRF), which outlines the authority’s rules for terminal management contracts.

The guideline aims to ensure port services to be provided will meet global standards and the selection of port terminal management contracts is competitive and transparent.

PTMRF, provided under AO 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 three tiers to make it easier to determine the investment arrangements of a port.

All three are under Tier 3, wherein the contactor handles above-ground fixtures and mobile-handling equipment for a 15-year concession period.

PPA since 2020 has been bidding out port terminal management contracts under PTMRF. PPA has so far has bid out 20 ports and three port clusters. Of these, one is under Tier 1 (Iloilo Commercial Port Complex), one port was under Tier 2 (Davao), while 18 ports under Tier 3 and these include Puerto Princesa, Ormoc, Tabaco, Legazpi, Zamboanga, Iligan, Ozamiz, Calapan, Tacloban, Nasipit, Matnog, Fort San Pedro, Pulupandan, Surigao, Masao, Tagbilaran, Pagadian, and Pasig River ports. Port clusters, meanwhile, included Balbagon, Benoni, and Guinsiliban in Camiguin. – Roumina Pablo