Bidders for AFCS contract gain more timeBy Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The government has granted another one-month extension for the submission of qualification documents for the installation of an automated fare collection system (AFCS) at the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) stations.
In a notice sent out this week, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said the new deadline for the submission of qualification documents was moved to April 12.
The previous deadline for the submission of documents was March 14. Only companies that meet qualification requirements for technical and financial capability will be allowed to bid for the P1.72-billion project.
The extension was granted “to give prospective bidders ample time to prepare their qualification documents,” the DOTC said.
The collection system for the LRT and MRT lines is but one of several improvements the government has planned for Metro Manila’s train lines.
Modelled after Hong Kong’s Octopus card system, the project aims to facilitate efficient passenger transfer to other rail lines and reduce passenger inconvenience due to ticket payment delays.
The project will address the outdated technology concerns of both MRT and LRT-1 fare ticketing system, and increase fare collection efficiency by reducing leakage and fraud.
The government has identified 33 prospective bidders for the project, including Globe Telecom’s e-commerce unit G-Exchange Inc., conglomerates Ayala Corp. and San Miguel, and financial giant First Metro Investments Corp.
Another rail-related project is the plan to acquire 48 new coaches for the congested MRT line for P3.8 billion.
The government also hopes to extend both LRT lines that, unlike the MRT, are owned and operated by the government.
The project was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority Board chaired by President Aquino last September. The government expects to spend P9.7 billion on the project and hopes to complete the extension before the end of the current administration in 2016.