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Only Chinese firm left in bidding for MRT expansion

For the expansion of the Metro Railway Transit, the Department of Transportation and Communications announced the P3.76-billion financial proposal of China’s Dalian Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co. CNR Group satisfied the eligibility requirements during the opening of its offer late Tuesday. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines—The transportation department is now evaluating a single proposal by a Chinese manufacturer for the P3.77-billion expansion of the Metro Railway Transit’s capacity through the addition of more trains after another firm was disqualified and three would-be bidders did not submit bids at all.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) announced that the P3.76-billion financial proposal of China’s Dalian Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co. CNR Group satisfied the eligibility requirements during the opening of its offer late Tuesday.

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DoTC’s bids and awards committee did not open the proposal of the Chinese firm CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co. Ltd., whose submission lacked certain technical requirements.

CSR Zhuzhou was to file a motion for reconsideration or MR, DoTC undersecretary for legal Jose Perpetuo Lotilla told reporters after the opening of the proposal. He said the plan was for the DoTC to “resolve the MR as soon as possible”

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In light of its compliance with the DoTC’s requirements, Dalian Locomotive’s proposal will now be evaluated by the agency. If it passes this process, the company will be awarded the project, Lotilla said.

“There were only two bidders but we just opened one. It’s not as good for government,” Lotilla noted.

He also declined to comment on how long the evaluation process would take, given the technical nature of the project.

“This is a highly technical bid. We are talking about train systems. So there is a technical proposal, and that is subject to post-qualification,” Lotilla said.

The transportation department pushed for the bidding after it dropped a plan to acquire second-hand trains from a Spanish manufacturer.

“We looked at our options for purchasing some of the coaches from Metro de Madrid, but it turns out that this would not have significantly improved the  timeframe we are working on,” DoTC spokesperson Michael Sagcal said in a separate statement. “So we decided to continue with the ongoing procurement of new trains instead.  This should also result in lower maintenance costs.”

Through the capacity expansion, DoTC will add 48 train cars to MRT 3, which runs 16.9 kilometers on EDSA from North Avenue to Taft Avenue and serves an estimated 600,000 passengers a day, well above its designed capacity of 350,000, the transportation department said.

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The elevated MRT 3 train service has a fleet of 73 train cars, serving passengers at supposedly three-minute intervals. DoTC said the addition of new cars will cut the waiting time to 2.5-minute intervals.

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TAGS: China’s Dalian Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co. CNR Group, Department of Transportation and Communications, DoTC, Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, Metro Railway Transit, MRT expansion, transportation
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