LRT-1 extension bid docs out in May

Katherine Visconti
The terms for the biggest PPP of the year should be known in within this month, according to the Executive Director of the PPP Center

MANILA, Philippines – About 3 weeks from now, interested parties will know the terms of reference that will guide the bidding for the extension of the country’s first mass rail system to Cavite, south of Manila.

The nearly P60-billion Light Rail Transit (LRT) 1 South Extension project is one of the public-private partnerships (PPPs) that the government is bidding out this year.

Cosette Canilao, executive director of the PPP Center, said the project’s bid documents would be issued only after the government’s invitation to bid, which is expected in the next few days, had been out in the public for 3 Sundays.

“This will be the biggest PPP of the year,” she remarked.

She said there are already 5 interested bidders — a good sign that the bidding will be competitive.

“We want to get serious bidders. We don’t want 15 bidders who don’t have the financial capacity to implement LRT-1.”

Among those that expressed interest in the project are Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), which have agreed to pursue and develop rail projects in the metro together.

The LRT-1 South Extension project will extend the 20.7-kilometer railway by 11.7 kilometers more from Baclaran, Pasay City to Bacoor, Cavite.

Canilao said she was not surprised by the Ayala-MPIC alliance since companies usually form consortiums when bidding for big-ticket infrastructure items.

She said foreign companies “from Korea, Japan and UK” are also interested in LRT-1. –