• DOTC assures LRT-1 project to proceed

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    The Department of Transportation and Communications’ (DOTC) said on Friday that the first Aquino administration’s public-private partnership (PPP) project, the P60-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite Extension, will proceed in the second half of 2014, as scheduled.

    “The evaluation would be completed in a week, after which next steps in the bidding process will be announced. The goal of the evaluation and the next steps is to ensure that the construction of the LRT-1 Cavite extension will proceed in the second half of 2014, as scheduled,” said Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

    During the pre-qualification for the project held on October, four groups were declared eligible to participate. These are the Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.-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 Metro Pacific-led Light Rail Manila Consortium was the only one submitted their bids. SMC Infra Resources, DMCI Holdings, and MTD-Samsung 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.

    Earlier, DOTC spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal said that, “This is a major milestone in the DOTC’s push to modernize the LRT system and to improve the delivery of convenient and efficient services to the people.”

    At the bid submission, technical proposals will be opened by the DOTC-Light Rail Transit Authority Special Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), which will have up to 30 days to evaluate the proposals it received.

    The DOTC said that once completed, the BAC will open and evaluate the financial proposals of bidders that pass the technical requirements of the project.

    It added that the winning bidder will be determined within 15 days thereafter. In all, it will take a maximum of 45 days from August 15 to announce the winner.

    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 expansion which will make the train service accessible to the more than 4 million residents of these areas, giving them more education and employment opportunities in Metro Manila.

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