Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the Philippine government hopes to secure by end of this year approval by the Japanese government of the final terms for the auction of the P30-billion train car supply project that will be funded through a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Cesar Chavez, assistant secretary for Rail at the DOTr, told reporters that the Philippine government expects to finalize policy for the purchase of 120 trains cars for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1—particularly the provision that stipulates that components may be procured only from Japanese suppliers.
Only Japanese companies or groups were allowed to participate in the auction.
“Under the previous administration’s agreement with JICA, 30 percent of the components should be Japanese- made. The Philippine government’s interest is to lower this to 22 to 23 percent to allow more contractors to join the bidding,” Chavez said.
The previous administration announced a failure of bidding for the 120 brand-new light rail vehicles (LRV) for the oldest metro rail transit in Southeast Asia after no company submitted an offer.
Purchase of the LRVs was part of the P64.9-billion LRT Line 1 Cavite extension project, which was awarded to the Light Rail Manila Corp.
The new coaches will be configured into 30 four-car train sets to allow the rail line to accommodate up to 750,000 passengers daily. The winning bidder will have three years to complete the delivery of the new LRVs, which will be done in two tranches—with the first delivery set in 2017 and the second in 2018.
LRMC, a joint venture of Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp., will construct the Cavite extension over the next four and a half years, making the entire line operational by the fourth quarter of 2020.
LRMC has been operating and maintaining the existing LRT-1 system since this was handed over by the Light Rail Transit Authority in September 2015.
The LRTA remains the railway’s regulator while the DOTr is the implementing agency of the 32-year public-private partnership concession agreement with LRMC.
LRMC said the company planned to start the construction of LRT Line 1 Cavite extension project in the second half of 2016.
The consortium would spend over P40 billion to rehabilitate and expand LRT Line 1. Eight new stations will be built with three intermodal facilities across Pasay City, Parañaque City, Las Pinas City and Cavite.