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Fast-track LRT-2 deal post-award process, gov’t urged

Group wants to have project ready during Aquino term
/ 04:17 AM October 22, 2014
LRT Line 2. PHOTO FROM LRTA.GOV.PH

LRT Line 2. PHOTO FROM LRTA.GOV.PH

MANILA, Philippines–The government was urged to fast-track the post-awarding process for the contract to operate and maintain Light Rail Transit Line 2, as the original timeline placed the turnover during the term of the next administration.

This, according to an interested party, would expose the winning bidder to possible political risks.

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Noel Kintanar, executive vice president of Ayala Corp. subsidiary AC Infrastructure, was referring to the turnover of the LRT-2 railway within the second half of 2016, beyond the term of President Aquino, who will step down in the middle of that year.

The indicative schedule for the government’s second railway public-private partnership deal calls for a one-year turnover period after the project is awarded by June or July in 2015.

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Kintanar cited past experiences where a government transition could sometimes spell delays for big infrastructure project deals.

“You are not really in control until you take over the asset,” Kintanar told reporters at the sidelines of the pre-qualification conference for the LRT-2 project on Tuesday.

Ayala, in partnership with Metro Pacific Investments Corp., is keen on the LRT-2 deal given that both companies are part of the consortium that recently bagged the P65-billion LRT-1 Cavite extension PPP last month.

PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao said suggestions from potential bidders, who have until Nov. 20 to submit prequalification requirements, would be reviewed and considered.

Ayala and Metro Pacific are among the groups that have bought bid documents for the project. The others are San Miguel Corp., DMCI Holdings, George Ty’s GT Capital Holdings, RATP Development and Japan’s Marubeni Corp.

The Department of Transportation and Communications, which is implementing the LRT-2 PPP project, is expecting the bid submission to happen between May and June next year.

The DOTC said the winner would operate the existing 13.8-kilometer LRT-2 line from Recto Avenue to the Depot at Santolan Street along Marcos Highway for 10 years, with a possible five-year extension.

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The department will separately build a 4.19-km “East extension,” from Santolan to the Masinag market in Antipolo City along Marcos Highway.

It said construction would be completed “by the end of 2016” and would be turned over to the LRT-2 concessionaire.

The DOTC said other extension projects for the LRT system were being studied, including the viability of a so-called west extension to the Divisoria area of Manila.

“Urban infrastructure development has been identified as a priority area by the government.

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TAGS: Government, LRT 2, Noel Kintanar, Philippines, PPP, public-private partnership, rail transport
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