PPP deals to decongest metropolis readied
MANILA, Philippines–Two public-private partnership (PPP) deals aimed at creating gateways for mass transportation services in Metro Manila were given the green light by the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) following a board meeting last week.
This means the P4-billion Integrated Transport System (ITS) South Terminal project, as well as the P 2.5-billion ITS Southwest Terminal project can now proceed, after certain contract terms were revised to make these more attractive to bidders.
The development, in particular, was positive for interested groups in the ITS Southwest Terminal deal, which was already in the process of bidding. The bid parameters were a key issue raised by interested groups, a transportation department spokesperson said previously.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said the ITS Southwest Terminal will be built along the Coastal Road that connects Manila to Cavite, while the ITS-South Terminal will be built at the FTI complex along the South Luzon Expressway. The government was originally due to accept bids by June 16.
The ITS system was designed to create intermodal hubs where provincial buses would disembark passengers to transfer to other in-city modes of transport such as rail lines, city buses and UV Express vans, the department said.
“These will make travel more efficient and convenient for passengers, as well as decongest traffic on the main thoroughfares of Metro Manila, since provincial bus terminals within the metropolis will no longer be allowed to operate,” it added.
The Neda board approval also gave the go-signal to several other projects of the transportation department.
These include the contract to operate the Light Rail Transit Line 2, structured as a public-private partnership deal for a 10- to 15-year concession period. The DOTC said the project will be bid out within the second quarter of the year and will include the current 13.8-kilometer line from Recto to Santolan, as well as the 4.19-kilometer extension to Masinag in Rizal.
Another project approved by Neda was the P10.6-billion Cebu Bus Rapid Transit system, which involves a segregated lane for buses, controlled dispatching, priority in stoplight signaling and fixed stops aimed at increasing passenger mobility.
The Cebu project will run on a 23-kilometer corridor having 33 stations. It will have 176 high-quality buses. A detailed engineering design is currently being prepared, and bidding for its construction is scheduled for the second quarter of 2015, the DOTC said.
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