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Gov’t invites investors to bid for LRT-1 extension
LRT-1 is the 2nd big-ticket infra project that the government has put on the auction block since it launched the PPP program in 2010

MANILA, Philippines – The Aquino government is finally moving forward with its big-ticket infrastructure projects under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program as it invites interested groups to apply for eligibility to bid for the expansion and management of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1.

On Monday, June 4, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) issued an invitation to pre-qualify and bid for the P60-billion operation and extension of LRT-1 to Cavite province.

The contract is the second biggest infra project that the government has put on the auction block since it introduced the PPP to investors in 2010. The first was the P2-billion Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway road link, which was awarded to the Ayala group.

LRT-1, a 20.7-kilometer railway running from Roosevelt, Quezon City to Baclaran, Pasay, will be extended by 11.7 kilometers to Cavite. Once completed, the extension is expected to cater to additional 500,000 daily commuters from the province as well as neighboring cities Las Piñas and Parañaque. Currently, the existing line services around 500,000 passengers in Metro Manila everyday.

According to DOTC’s bid notice, the project consists of 5 components:

1. Operation and maintenance of the existing system, which is 20.7 km long, has a loop time of 106 minutes with 20 stations traversing Quezon City, Caloocan, Manila, Makati and Pasay. The company would take on service and repairs of depots, electrical and mechanical system, rolling stock, stations, tracks and other assets.

2. Design, construction, testing and completion of the 10.5 km elevated and 1.2 km “at grade” extension to Cavite and 8 stations, plus 2 future stations.

3. Integrating the existing system with the new extension system, including train control and signalling, communications and the power supply network along the more than 30 km total line.

4. Operation and maintenance of the integrated system, including replacing trains and rehabilitating railway infrastructure over the life of the project.

5. Enhancement of the integrated system, including fleet upgrades, future required depot and fleet expansions, and all other necessary investments to sustain service and performance standards.

The DOTC is asking interested parties to submit pre-qualification documents on or before 2 pm, August 22, 2012, at its office in Mandaluyong City. 

A competitive bidding process will be conducted to determine the winner and private sector arm of the World Bank, the International Finance Corp, as well as the Development Bank of the Philippines will serve as transaction advisors for the awarding.

PPPs delayed

The government had initially listed 10 PPP projects for bidding in 2010. 

The contract to operate and manage LRT-1 and another major railway, the Metro Rail Transit 3, was supposed to have been the first to be bid out, but then newly appointed DOTC Secretary Manuel Roxas decided to shelve it to review if it was more beneficial for government to keep it. The government ended up bidding out the Daanghari-SLEx road project instead.

Between 2010 and 2012, the government opened the bidding process for two projects that were not originally in the list: the P10-billion classroom building program of the Department of Education, and the P453-million vaccine self-sufficiency project of the Department of Health.

It said other projects were delayed because the government had to review the contracts to get rid of corruption.

So far this year, a total of 22 projects have been listed under the PPP, socioeconomic planning chief Arsenio Balisacan previously announced. Balisacan said the government is banking on the rollout of the big PPPs to help the economy grow beyond the target of 5% to 6%. –

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