‘BACK TO SQUARE ONE’: ICTSI’s ‘failed’ bid prompts PPA to rebid Iloilo Port contract

(Photo from PPA)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor 

The cargo-handling contract of the Iloilo Commercial Port Complex (ICPC) is up for rebidding following a “failed” bid from its lone bidder, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) announced.

The PPA published a new invitation to bid on December 21 after the bid submitted by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) was declared “failed.”

The global port management company is the lone bidder for the 25-year contract to manage and operate the ICPC.

The first contract bidding was conducted on December 18.

In an article published in the Port Calls, the PPA gave ICTSI until December 21 to request reconsideration of its bid.

The port operator’s bid was deemed “failed” by the PPA’s bids and awards committee due to the absence of a notarized Secretary’s Certificate or any legal document confirming ICTSI’s authorization in its Omnibus Sworn Statement.

Apart from this, the PPA said ICTSI fulfilled all other eligibility criteria including the technical and financial prerequisites, intended working capital, and the 25-year port development plan for the Iloilo Port cargo-handling contract.

The PPA said the port operator has until December 21 to request reconsideration of its bid.

Should ICTSI be able to meet the reconsideration deadline, it will carry out operations, management, landside, and waterside improvement and expansion, among other responsibilities.

In 2019, ICTSI submitted a P5-billion investment proposal to develop ICPC and the Port of Dumangas, but withdrew it in 2022 due to procedural concerns.

Consequently, the PPA revised its policies on awarding of port terminal management contracts, introducing the Port Terminal Management Regulatory Framework (PTMRF).

The PTMFR outlined PPA’s new guidelines in the awarding of port terminal management contracts.

The Iloilo Port in Brgy. Loboc, Lapuz district, Iloilo City is the first port that the PPA is bidding out under Tier 1 of the PTMRF.

A Tier 1 classification offers a 25-year full concession with higher tariffs to attract investors.

The contract specifies a minimum fixed concession fee of P500 million for the sixth to 10th year, with a P100 million annual concession fee for the sixth year, excluding taxes.

PPA is requiring the winning bidder to invest in an internationally-recognized terminal operating system, maintain PPA-owned equipment and infrastructure, construct a new 250-meter berth, upgrade the container yard for partial rubber-tired gantry operations, and provide necessary cargo-handling equipment to meet future demand.

The PPA plans to convert ICPC into an exclusive port for international vessels and cargoes to also decongest the main gateway in Manila.

Domestic vessels and cargoes will only be allowed in the initial five years of the contract or until completion of the port development project at Fort San Pedro port in Iloilo City proper.