Manila, Philippines

Juan Liners: Ayala Lucky in PPPs? SM Ignored? More MPIC Challenges

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Let’s have some juicy and intriguing corporate “news”. Involved here are companies I pretty much like: Ayala, SM and MPI.

Makati Skyline by Jun
What about? PPP. Public-Private Partnership. These are the major projects (or promises) of the present administration (together with our business sector) to further fuel our dear country’s progress and economic growth. Given the unexpectedly slow pace of these various projects, some have already re-labelled PPPs as (mere) PowerPoint Presentations.

In fairness to the government, the process is really not easy and fast. Or maybe they have overpromised in the completion timelines?

From the initialization, feasibility studies and research, drafting of terms, bidding and awarding, things will really take time and effort, and will need lots of approvals. Given the increased vigilance of Filipinos when it comes to shady deals and scams, the agencies involved (for sure or rather hopefully) are being extra careful to ensure that everything is above board, fair, transparent, legal and will not be an eventual audit finding.Appeals also cause delay. These happen in many stages of the project. Appeals that usually come from losing bidders or participants in the bidding. Or that the bidding, it may seem to some, is biased for certain bidders, in spite of the (assumed) effort done by the government to ensure fairness etc.

More than a month ago, Mr Neal Cruz of Inquirer wrote an intriguing article about one of the major players in the various PPP initiatives, and how they seem to be getting lucky or influential in bagging a number of government projects. In basketball terms, they have a high field goal percentage.

The article describes or portrays the behind the scenes in the bidding and awarding process. What could have been or is it a twisted reality? I enjoin you to read the article, with a grain of salt of course, since the article is in the Opinion section. This is Ayala and SM going at it once again. Arch-rivals?

Here’s the link to the article Luck – or Influence? What say you?

I personally like the portion on Buendia and Ayala MRT stations going underground. Hmmm juicy.

Oh, if you’re up for more, here’s a related piece, this time from Biz Buzz: Ignored.

And one more, this time regarding the MRT-LRT common station to be built in Trinoma, originally planned to be near SM North EDSA. SM is said to have paid PHP200M just for the naming rights of the station, wherever it is located. Such sum of money, it is said, will be returned by the government.

Admittedly, other private companies are also having a hard time bagging awards. Either they lose through technicalities, or the previously awarded contracts have been subjected for review, or long standing contracts are now being challenged, and worse not honored given seemingly unfair clauses. Case in point is MPI having challenges in its Maynilad and NLEX projects. Add to that MVP group’s challenges in it’s Philex business (not a PPP, but mining is an unpopular issue with this administration).

I wish all participants, public and private, all the best. May they never get tired of trying to reach fair and reasonable agreements, so that these PPPs  may now accelerate, and in turn accelerate the country’s progress.

For other juicy corporate updates, aside from Biz Buzz, you might want to try Cocktales of Interaksyon and Business Incidental of Malaya.

Photo: Makati Skyline by  Jun’s World 

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