June 26, 2015 / 9:40 AM / 5 years ago

Three Philippine firms in race for $1.1 bln prison project

MANILA, June 26 (Reuters) - Three Philippine companies have submitted pre-qualification documents for a 50.2 billion pesos ($1.1 billion) prison project north of the capital, a government official said on Friday.

Conglomerates San Miguel Corp and DMCI Holdings Inc , and contractor Megawide Construction Corp, submitted the pre-bid documents on Friday, Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar told reporters after the department received the documents.

The public-private partnership project is part of the government’s efforts to improve the Southeast Asian nation’s prison system, the fourth most overcrowded in the world, according to the International Centre for Prison Studies.

The final list of qualified bidders will be announced on July 13, Salazar said, adding the bid submission deadline is on August 14. The prison operations contract will run for 23 years.

A source at Megawide Construction and DMCI Holdings’ Chief Financial Officer Herbert Consunji confirmed that the companies submitted the pre-bids.

Separately, the source told Reuters Megawide has partnered with a foreign company experienced in operating prisons, while Consunji said DMCI had also tapped a foreign entity, without naming the partner.

A San Miguel spokesman did not reply to queries seeking confirmation about the submission of the document.

$1 = 45.1250 Philippine pesos Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath

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