Govt defers another PPP project

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The Transportation department says bidding for the automated single-ticketing system for the MRT and LRT is postponed due to changes in the concession contract

RESCHEDULED. DOTC says the bidding for the MRT-LRT single-ticketing system is deferred. Photo by AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said Wednesday, August 28 bidding for the single contactless ticketing system for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 and Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2 is deferred.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is finalizing the concession agreement for the P1.72-billion Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS), a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project.

“We are finalizing the CA to ensure commercial viability and fair competition with foregoing the public service we render,” said Abaya.

The AFCS is supposed to be bid out on August 30. Five firms were prequalified to join the bidding.

On Tuesday, August 27, DOTC announced that bidding for the P17.5-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport expansion project is also postponed pending the approval of the final version of the concession agreement. This is the first airport PPP rolled out by government.

The P60-billion LRT Line 1 Cavite extension project meanwhile will likely be bid out again as the proposal submitted by lone bidder Metro Pacific Investments Corp. failed to comply with requirements.

Project details

In a special bid bulletin published by DOTC, undersecretary Rene Limcaoco said the postponement of the AFCS bidding is necessary due to changes in the concession agreement.

“Please be notified that the bid submission will be 30 calendar days from the date of release of the final concession agreement and all attachments/annexes. For this purpose, the PBAC shall expressly declare that such documents are final in nature.”

The AFCS project aims to introduce smart card-based technology initially for the 3 rail systems in Metro Manila, and eventually other modes of mass transportation.

The AFCS is similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus Card, which serves as a debit card and a stored-value train ticket. The ticket can also be used for other purposes such as toll payment, electronic banking, and even shopping.

Companies that were prequalified to bid for the AFCS include:

  • AF Consortium led by Ayala Corp. and infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. 
  • Comworks Consortium
  • E-Trans Solutions Joint Venture Inc.
  • Megawide-Suyen-Eurolink Consortium
  • SM Consortium of retail magnate Henry Sy


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