PPA to bid out contracts for 11 ports, including Iloilo, this year

0
715
Iloilo Commercial Port Complex. Photo from Philippine Ports Authority.
  • Port management contracts for Iloilo Commercial Port Complex and 10 other ports will be bid out this year by the Philippine Ports Authority
  • PPA Commercial Services Department manager Mark Jon Palomar says the agency will first tweak the terms of reference for the bidding after the second public consultation this month on ICPC’s development plan
  • PPA also plans to bid out port terminal management contracts for a minimum of 10 ports this year, including those that will be under “clustering”
  • ICPC is the first port to be bid out under Tier 1, which is a full concession for a period of 25 years

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) plans to bid out the port management contracts for Iloilo Commercial Port Complex (ICPC) and 10 other ports this year.

PPA Commercial Services Department manager Mark Jon Palomar, in a recent chance interview with PortCalls, said bidding will be done after the agency makes “a bit of revisions” on the terms of reference (TOR) for the bidding following the second public consultation this month on the proposed development plan for ICPC.

PPA rolled out on June 21 its development plans for ICPC that will be carried out by the operator that will win the bidding for the port’s terminal management contract.

RELATED READ: PPA rolls out proposed P5.9B plan for Iloilo port complex

Port Management Office (PMO)-Panay/Guimaras, which has jurisdiction over ICPC, presented the proposed development plan, minimum equipment requirement, and expected key performance indicators (KPI) that will be part of the TOR for the bidding of the port’s terminal management contract under PPA’s port terminal management regulatory framework (PTMRF).

A second public consultation is scheduled for July 26. Under PPA rules, stakeholders are given five days after the public consultation to submit their position papers on the proposal.

Palomar said PPA also plans to bid out the port terminal management contract of a minimum of 10 ports this year, including those that will be under “clustering,” or bidding out of port terminal management of several ports under one contract.

Palomar said PPA is just finalizing the TORs for several ports categorized under Tier 3 of the PTMRF by the end of the month.

Under PPA Administrative Order No. 03-2023, which amended certain provisions of AO 03-2016, the clustering of port terminal management at several ports may be included to ensure commercial viability of the contractor.

The clustering of ports for bidding should be within the same PMO 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 said earlier this year the agency was looking at clustering of ports for bidding to stabilize the market for terminals in a particular area.

Santiago said with only one port operator for several ports in a particular area, management of vessel traffic will be “flexible” because the operator can then divert vessels to a nearby port it operates if there is vessel queuing.

He also clarified that PPA is not pushing for anti-competitive behavior with having only one port operator for several ports in an area. “We’re just looking basically to make sure that the development is consistent and uniform for all,” he said.

Embodied in PPA Administrative Order No. 03-2016, and as amended by AO 03-2023, PTMRF, are PPA’s new guidelines on awarding port terminal management contracts. The framework has among its objectives promoting private sector participation in port operations to provide higher-quality service.

ICPC is categorized as Tier 1, which is a full concession for a period of 25 years. ICPC will be the first port to be bid out under Tier 1. PPA has bid out 18 ports under Tier 3 (15-year concession) and one port under Tier 2 (20 years concession) since 2020.

The proposed development of ICPC includes capital outlay projects and acquisition of major port equipment.

The estimated cost of the capital outlay projects is P4.61 billion and the major equipment P1.26 billion, for a total project cost of P5.87 billion.

Palomar said during the public consultation that the plan is to make ICPC an exclusively international port.

During the five-year transition period, ICPC will continue to handle domestic cargoes, after which these will be coursed through Fort San Pedro Port, which was earlier bid out as a Tier 3 port under the PTMRF. – Roumina Pablo