Construction of MRT-7 seen to start in 2014

P62.7B PPP project to seek Japan funding

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Construction of the long-delayed P62.7-billion Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7), which involves the putting up of a 22.8-kilometer railway line from Quezon City to Bulacan province, may start late next year, its builder said.

DMCI Holdings Inc. president Isidro Consunji said in an interview on Thursday that it could take about a year for the project’s major stakeholders, San Miguel Corp. and businessman Salvador Zamora III, to secure an official development assistance (ODA) loan from the Japanese government.

Once secured, it would take DMCI unit DM Consunji Inc., which will handle civil works, and a local unit of Japan’s Marubeni about three years to complete MRT-7, one of the biggest public-private partnership (PPP) deals on record. He estimated the debt component at about 80 percent of the total project cost.

Consunji said it was important for the proponents to first secure a so-called performance undertaking, a type of guarantee, that would be issued by the Department of Finance.

“That’s a security required by the Japanese government,” Consunji said. President Aquino last week gave his nod to the performance undertaking in favor of the proponent, the National Economic and Development Authority announced last week.

“The performance undertaking will be issued by the Neda Board as soon as the certification goes to (the Department of Finance),” PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao said in a separate interview. She said this could happen in the coming weeks.

“Once the DOF issues this, the ball is now with the proponent,” Canilao added.

It was earlier reported that the MRT-7’s rail component will initially operate 108 rail cars in a three-car train configuration. Initial capacity is projected at 448,000 passengers a day, but will eventually be expanded to accommodate as many as 850,000 passengers daily.

It was not immediately clear if those assumptions still hold true today. The project was originally set to be completed in 2014, a previous report showed.

According to Neda, the project will start from North Avenue station in Edsa, Quezon City, passing through Commonwealth Avenue, Regalado avenue and Quirino Highway up to the proposed intermodal transportation terminal in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. It will cover 14 stations.

DMCI and Marubeni, through a joint venture, bagged the contract to build MRT-7 in 2010.

The MRT-7 project is the second-biggest PPP on record after the P64.9-billion Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 Cavite extension.

The Department of Transportation and Communications, in a statement Thursday, said they expected to publish the invitation to bid for the LRT-1 extension next week. The bid submission target has been estimated by the second quarter of 2014.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Louie Batad Policarpio

    Press Release parin! paulit ulit ng ganyan! wala pa din nauumpisahan ang PPP.

  • kismaytami

    Hindi ba pwedeng kung sino ang umutang eh sila rin ang magbayad? Diba mr. consunji, mr. ang and mr. zamora? Tutal kayo naman ang kikita ng limpak-limpak na salapi at siguradong hindi naman kagandahan ang magiging serbisyo. Hindi kaming mga taxpayer!

  • Nic Legaspi

    I’m really wondering why the government hasn’t even considered building lines to the most dense areas INSIDE Metro Manila. Metro Manila residents going to work in the Fort, Ayala, Eastwood, etc. still would sit in traffic for hours.

    • anthonydp

      denser areas, like in the metro, would increase the required budget because of right of way.

      building these mrt to connect the nearby provinces might decongest metro manila by bringing developments to these areas and spurring business activities there. this has the effect of decongesting metro manila as people don’t need to bring themselves and their families in the metro just to find a living.

  • Victor32

    So The PPP undertaker will require a guarantee from the Philippine Government for 80% of the project cost? This means that they get to enjoy the benefits of the project, but none of the risks. If this is the case, why not let the Philippine Government get the ODA and implement the project itself? In the end, it is the one that guarantees the risk anyway.

  • RCML

    1 taon pa rin? mahaba pang pagdurusa ng commuters.

  • mnlmad

    With all the red tape and “teka-teka “mentality of Mar Roxas, I bet the project will be delayed even further.

  • Fulpol

    how about LRT Taft Pasay- MRT Imus, Cavite?

    Bong Revilla balwarte? yucks???

    • neverwint3r

      i support this. that train line between pasay to cavite is long overdue. cavite is one of the most progressive province and the traffic in coastal road is really bad.

      • kismaytami

        Asa… Yung Daang-Hari-SLEX Connector Road nga, 3 taon nang nakatiwangwang. First ever PPP, 4 kilometer lang hindi pa matapus-tapos.

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