The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Philippine National Railway (PNR) on Wednesday invited interested parties to bid for the P170.7-billion South Line of the North-South Railway Project (NSRP).
“This is our biggest project yet: the revival of the oldest rail system in Southeast Asia, beginning with the Manila-Legazpi section plus additional branch lines totaling 653 kilometers,” DOTC Secretary Emilio Joseph Abaya said.
“Rail systems are a driver for inclusive socio-economic growth. They encourage trade and business activity, and provide access to employment and educational opportunities,” he added.
In an invitation published on Wednesday, the DOTC said that under the project’s terms, the winning bidder will take charge of designing, constructing, financing, operating, and maintaining the following services:
• The 56-kilometer commuter rail service, for daily riders on the Tutuban, Manila to Calamba, Laguna route
• The 478-kilometer long-haul rail service, for travelers on the Tutuban, Manila to Legazpi, Albay route
The long-haul service may also have the following extensions:
• 58 kilometers from Calamba, Laguna to Batangas City, Batangas
•117 kilometers from Legazpi, Albay to Matnog, Sorsogon
“This is our biggest project yet, and this is for those who need it most,” Abaya reiterated.
Once the entire railway is operational in 2020, there will be 10 daily trips with seven train sets passing through 66 stations.
The line is expected to yield a demand of 316,000 passengers a day on its opening year, and is projected to entice around 44,000 public and private vehicle users to shift their commutes to the modernized railway.
Local and international companies are encouraged to participate in the auction.
A two-stage bidding process will be adopted, with the pre-qualification date targeted within the fourth quarter of 2015.
Meanwhile, bid opening is aimed to be held in January 2016, and awarding is set in March 2016.
The winning bidder will operate, maintain, and upgrade the South Line for 34 years, including the construction period of four years.
“The PNR, once a symbol of the country’s economic progress, should be modernized into a safe, convenient, and efficient system by 2020,” Abaya said.