With Aquino in Zamboanga, LRT-1 project delayed further
MANILA, Philippines - The re-auction of the P59.20 billion LRT-1 Cavite rail extension will have to wait as the transportation department needs the go- signal from the highest social and economic development planning and policy coordinating body.
At the Economic briefing, Department of Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emlio Abaya announced that re- bidding for the rail project will be moved to January or February next year.
The rail extension project is one of the big ticket projects under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme that the Aquino administration wanted to award this 2013.
On the sidelines of the briefing, Abaya explained that the new terms of agreement for the rail project has yet to be approved by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board before it can be re-auctioned.
“That’s a flexibility between January and February because we need to go to NEDA to talk about changes we are proposing,” he said.
NEDA, however, Abaya stressed has not been able to convene as the board is busy with the Zamboanga crisis.
President Aquino chairs the NEDA board.
“Basically scheduling. We’ve been waiting for NEDA to convene. There are certain events that are happening like Zamboanga and all. These are not intended delays but merely scheduling,” Abaya noted.
Delay in the auction of the rail extension project is nothing new.
The bidding for the LRT extension project commenced only after the first bidding was moved 4 times.
The DOTC Special Bids and Awards Committee initially set the bidding for May 27. It was later moved to July 17, then July 30 and finally August 15.
The August 15 bidding however was declared as a failure, after its lone bidder- Manny Pangilinan –led Light Rail Consortium failed to meet the bidding requirements.
Hopefully no delays
Two more other PPP projects under the DOTC are set to be auctioned by the department before year ends-
P17.5 billion Mactan Cebu International Airport capacity expansion project
P1.72 billion automated fare collection system (AFCS) project
So far, Abaya expressed confidence that these 2 projects will be awarded before the end of year as planned.
“Hopefully. I don’t see any foreseable delay, “ he noted.
Asked why PPP projects have been delayed, the transportation secretary said: "It's not as straight forward as buying bond paper. It’s a sophisticated negotiation process with the private sector. Of course from their end they want reasonable return. From our end, we gotta make sure that fares, fees that people will pay will be reasonable, affordable." - Rappler.com