• Ayala Corp. still interested in LRT-1 extension project to Cavite

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    A top official of the Ayala Corp. said on Wednesday that the company will pursue its bidding for the P60-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite Extension Project, if the Department of Transportation and Communications will revise the terms of the project.

    “We will still bid definitely together with MPIC [Metro Pacific Investments Corp.] if the government will revise the terms for LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project,” said Eric Francia, managing director, head of corporate strategy and development of Ayala Corp., during the ING EJAP Forum.

    Earlier, the Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) of the DOTC and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) said that it will submit its recommendation on the bidding of the LRT-1 extension project to Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

    The bidding for the Cavite extension project saw three of the four prequalified groups withdrawing, while the last group failed to meet the terms of reference.

    In an earlier statement, the SBAC said that, “In order to formalize its recommendation, the SBAC needs to convene and pass a resolution prior to submitting the same to the Transport secretary.”

    Procedural requirements for setting an SBAC meeting this week were prevented by work cancellations stemming from the inclement weather and flooding brought about by tropical storm Maring.

    An option to move the project forward under the Build-Operate-and-Transfer Law is to re-bid it. In case of a re-bidding, a single-stage process is possible to meet the project’s original deadlines.

    Once the SBAC’s recommendation is approved, the DOTC will announce the next steps for the bidding of the project to the public.

    Earlier, the DOTC said that the first public-private partnership (PPP) project of the Aquino administration, which is the LRT-1 Cavite Extension, will proceed in the second half of 2014, as scheduled.

    During the pre-qualification for the project held in October, four groups were declared eligible to participate. These were the Ayala Corp. and MPIC-led Light Rail Manila Consortium; San Miguel Corp.’s SMC Infra Resources Inc.; DMCI Holdings Inc. and MTD-Samsung Consortium of Malaysia and Korea.

    However, the Ayala and MPIC-led Light Rail Manila Consortium was the only one that submitted its bid, while the rest withdrew their bids for the project.

    The DOTC said that the bids and awards committee is looking at the possibility of extending the bidding process and reevaluating the existing terms to further address the commercial issues raised by the pre-qualified bidders.

    The project will extend the current LRT-1 from its present end-station in Baclaran to parts of Parañaque, Las Piñas and Cavite. It involves an 11.7-kilometer extension which will make the train service accessible to the more than four million residents of these areas.

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