Gov’t urged to act on rapid bus transit system proposal | Inquirer Business

Gov’t urged to act on rapid bus transit system proposal

/ 07:02 PM October 06, 2013

Filipino consortium Philtrak urged the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to act on its proposed P993-million rapid bus transit system project in Manila Bay, which proponents intend to replicate in different parts of the country.

Philtrak CEO Francis Yuseco Jr. said in an interview on Friday that the project, which would require no subsidy from the government, had effectively stalled given the transportation department’s current leaning against unsolicited projects.

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The project proposal was submitted on March 17. It called for the operation of at least 10 buses within a 5.3-kilometer route in Bay City. Each bus would have a passenger capacity of 220 people.

Yuseco said unsolicited projects were still allowed by the build, operate and transfer law, which involved subjecting unsolicited deals to a Swiss or competitive challenge.

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“We will continue to assert our rights,” Yuseco said.

In a letter to the DOTC dated Sept. 26, Philtrak legal counsel Saguisag & Associates noted that “government policy cannot take precedence over government laws.”

“In fact, we believe, it is the government that should be the first to defend, protect and honor such laws,” Saguisag said.

The letter was made after the DOTC informed Philtrak of its “general policy” to subject projects to “open, transparent and fair public bidding to the extent permitted by the law.”

The DOTC also invited Philtrak to participate in the bidding of projects that the transportation agency was planning to hold.

Yuseco earlier said BRTs were a cheaper alternative to “costly” and money-losing railway projects.

Other projects planned by Philtrak included elevated bus lines from Baclaran to Cavite and Antipolo to Edsa via Ortigas Avenue. Three other at-grade systems, or those at street level, include Commonwealth Avenue and Cebu City, as well as Bay City, Yuseco said earlier.

The Philtrak consortium is composed of Del Monte Motor Works Corp., Del Monte Land Transport Bus Co., Philtrak Inc., Land Excel Consulting Inc., Micrologics Systems Inc., New City Builders Inc. and Versatech Consultants and Management Corp.

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