Chelsea open to PPA’s ‘faster option’ for port project

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

CHELSEA Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp., which has an unsolicited proposal to develop Davao City’s Sasa Port, is open to exploring the “faster option” offered by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) for port development projects, its chief executive officer said.

“We can explore either options depending on how that can be repackaged [in order that] the deal will be beneficial to both the proponent and the PPA (the government side),” Chelsea Logistics President and Chief Executive Officer Chryss Alfonsus V. Damuy told BusinessWorld in a phone message on Tuesday.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago told reporters at a virtual press briefing on Sept. 13 that the unsolicited proposals from three companies — Chelsea Logistics, International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), and Kudos Trucking Corp. — for port developments in Iloilo, Davao, and General Santos are still being evaluated by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

“‘Yun ang fear ko (That’s my worry),” Mr. Santiago said, referring to the election ban from March 25 to May 8, 2022.

“We are hopeful that the government [will] be able to approve and award [the contracts for] these three projects later; but, of course, we are all dependent on the actions of NEDA,” he added.

“We are in discussions also with the proponents. They have concerns about the [length of the process and the approaching] election ban, so we are discussing other options.”

One alternative, Mr. Santiago said, is for the PPA to bid out some of its terminals.

“We’ve opened that up to them. That is another option for them, if they so wish. That is a faster option if they really want to get the contract.”

Dennis A. Uy-led Chelsea was awarded original proponent status in 2019 for its unsolicited offer to modernize Davao City’s Sasa Port.

In 2018, Razon-led ICTSI submitted its unsolicited proposal to develop the Iloilo Port Complex and the Port of Dumangas.

Davao-based Kudos Trucking Corp. also submitted in 2018 its unsolicited offer for the General Santos Port.

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