Railway PPP project faces delay
THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is giving groups interested in the P65.1-billion Light Rail Transit Line 6 public private partnership (PPP) project more time to prepare their qualification documents.
The DOTC said in a bid memorandum that the prequalification deadline for the LRT-6 deal, involving the construction of a 19-kilometer railway from Bacoor to Dasmariñas City in Cavite, has been moved anew to May 12 this year.
The prequalification process is meant to determine which groups are qualified to submit actual bids to win the deal, the third railway PPP project offered under the Aquino administration’s cornerstone infrastructure program thus far. The original prequalification deadline was set on March 4, but bidders were later on informed that this would be postponed to April 2016.
So far, San Miguel Corp. and the tandem between Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp. bought bid documents. More than a dozen other companies attended an investors’ conference last month, including representatives from Aboitiz Equity Ventures, the Gokongwei Group’s Robinsons Land and the Consunji family’s DMCI Holdings.
LRT-6 is among those infrastructure projects that will be allowed to proceed despite the election process this May since it is private-sector funded.
However, DOTC officials have already admitted that it would not be awarded within the term of President Aquino, who steps down in June this year.
This was highlighted during the recent investors’ briefing by Karim Garcia, vice president for business development at Metro Pacific.
Both private sector players and the DOTC agreed that the project was a crucial piece of infrastructure. The DOTC estimated that about 200,000 Cavite residents would use the LRT-6 once completed.
Moreover, the project should be “interoperable” with the LRT-1 Cavite extension project by the end of the 30-year concession period, the DOTC said.
The LRT-1 Cavite extension from Metro Manila to Bacoor, Cavite, is expected to be finished in 2020, winning bidder Light Rail Manila Corp., which is led by Ayala and Metro Pacific, announced earlier.
For the LRT-6, the private sector will handle the design, construction operations and maintenance of the 19-km train line from Bacoor to Dasmariñas, as well as the procurement, testing and commissioning of train coaches, equipment and support infrastructure.