Korean firm questions bidding for automated fare collection system

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A locally formed Korean firm wants the government to stop the proposed public bidding of the P 1.72-billion automated fare collection system (AFCS) intended for Metro Manila?s light rail transit lines.

Kystek Corp., which specializes in building IT systems, said the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) cannot bid out the project because the agency has already accepted an unsolicited proposal from the company.

Kystek Corp. president Dong-Ho Yu said an unsolicited proposal may not be disregarded but may be upended by a Swiss challenge where competitors try to dislodge the original proponent with a more competitive offer.

Kystek Corp. as original proponent has the right to match any competing offer, it said.

The DOTC has ostensibly adopted the unsolicited proposal, including its accompanying feasibility studies, it added.

According to the Korean executive, the DOTC accepted their unsolicited proposal on November 21, 2011 but has yet to act on it.

He said under the Build Operate Transfer (BOT) Law, Kystek?s unsolicited proposal legally hinders the government agency from pushing through with the planned public bidding.

As proponent of an accepted and approved unsolicited proposal, the Korean firm should be treated as original proponent and subject their offer to the Swill challenge instead.

So far, the DOTC has pushed forward two deadlines within which AFTC proponents must submit qualification documents in time for the project?s public bidding set for July this year.

Each postponement was meant to give bidding participants ?more time to prepare their qualification documents,? according to DOTC Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla.

The DOTC originally set a March 14, 2013 deadline but later pushed back to April 12.

Interested participants include Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC), SM Prime Holdings, Ayala Corp., Globe Telecom’s G-Exchange, Citibank, DM Consunji Inc, First Metro Investments Corp., and NNT Communications Philippines. — PNA

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