THE Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is looking to cement an agreement with the Department of National Defense (DND) on the use of a parcel of the Veterans’ Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) compound, the chosen site for the DOTC’s Integrated Transport System (ITS) North Terminal project, following favorable negotiations.
“Hopefully, we get to sign an agreement with DND this December,” Transport Secretary Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya Jr. told reporters in a chance interview last week.
The transport secretary said that the feasibility study for the north end of the intermodal transport facility, which will connect passengers coming from Northern Luzon to other transport systems such as city bus, taxi, and other public utility vehicles that are serving inner Metro Manila, is already finalized.
Abaya said that with the feasibility study already ticked off the list, the only thing left to do before the project can finally be rolled out for bidding is the agreement with the DND.
The DOTC seeks to utilize a portion of the VMMC under a long-term lease with the DND.
Abaya said once the agreement is signed, hopefully before the year ends, DOTC will publish a bid invitation for interested parties in the private sector.
“Only then can we roll out the project,” Abaya said.
The ITS North Terminal project will involve the construction of mass transportation intermodal terminal in north EDSA that will maximize road usage by reducing vehicle volume and improving traffic flow along Metro Manila’s major thoroughfares, particularly along EDSA.
It is a project that will be implemented under the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) program.
The DOTC secretary said that once everything is finalized the project can begin in the first quarter of 2016.
Abaya said that the project cost is yet to be determined.
The P4-billion ITS South Terminal project, which will be constructed in Taguig, was recently awarded to Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) after it submitted the lowest annual grantor payment of P277.8 million to the DOTC.
The original cost to construct the ITS South Terminal, a terminal that will connect passengers from the Laguna/Batangas side to other transport systems such as the future North-South Commuter Railway project (currently the Philippine National Railways), city bus, taxi, and other public utility vehicles that are serving inner Metro Manila was set at P4 billion.
Under the PPP, the private partner will undertake the design, construction, and financing of the ITS terminal as well as the operation & maintenance of the whole facility.
The concessionaire can also undertake commercial development and collect revenues generated from the same.