By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – The Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) is set to deliberate within the month on the unsolicited proposal of the company owned by Davao-based business tycoon Dennis Uy for the construction of a P30-billion monorail project in Davao City.
NEDA 11 director Maria Lourdes Lim said that during the deliberation, NEDA-ICC will deliberate on the viability of the proposed intra-city urban rail transport system called “Davao City Mover Project,” which is seen as one the solutions to ease the traffic congestion here.
“It’s usually during NEDA-ICC deliberations that the committee looks at the viability of the project and, of course, since this is an unsolicited proposal – meaning there’s going to be an exposure of the private partner with the government,” she said, adding that a risk assessment matrix will be determined if it’s “not onerous on the part of government.”
The NEDA-ICC consists of the Sectary of Finance as chairman, the NEDA Director-General as co-chairman, and the Executive Secretary, Secretaries of Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Budget and Management and the Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as members.
The ICC is tasked to evaluate the fiscal, monetary and balance of payments implications of major national projects, and recommends to the President the timetable of their implementation on a regular basis; advise the President on matters related to the domestic and foreign borrowings program; and submits a status of the fiscal, monetary and balance of payments implications of major national projects.
Once the NEDA-ICC endorses its approval to the NEDA-Board, Lim explained that the project will be placed under a Swiss Challenge, to be handled by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), which would grant Udenna Corporation of Uy with original proponent status for the monorail project.
As the original proponent, Lim said the Udenna Corporation has “a certain advantage because you are the original proponent” but added the Swiss Challenge is “resorted to so that other possible bidders may come in, and outdo probably the proposal of the original proponent.”
“We may see a reduction in cost or better technology, better innovations than the original proponent’s documents. That really is the beauty of going through the Swiss challenge,” she said.
Aside from Uy, the Korean Engineering Company submitted its unsolicited proposal in 2015, while Philtram/Maglev Vision Corp., in partnership with state-run China Railway Engineering Consulting Group Inc., in January 2017.
The intra-city urban rail transport system has been identified as one of the high-priority projects in the 27-year Infrastructure Modernization for Davao City (IM4Davao) to address the traffic congestion here.