The Department of Transportation and Communications said the Light Rail Manila Consortium led by Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) was the lone bidder that submitted on Wednesday documents for the P65-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT 1) Cavite Extension project.
SMC Infra Resources Inc. and DMCI Holdings Inc. expressed regret that they were not able to participate in the bidding, Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), said during the opening of the submission of bid documents.
With the Light Rail Manila Consortium formally submitting its bid and the pertinent documents, the bidding may proceed even if the consortium is the only interested party in the train project, Lotilla added.
The consortium is led by the Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp. (55 percent), Ayala Corporation’s AC Infrastructure Holdings. (35 percent) and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings Pte. Ltd. (10 percent).
“In terms of risk, we have a good understanding of the risks mainly in the tariff and politics of it. But in technical risks in terms of operation and management, we’re very comfortable with the bid that we submitted. We did intend to submit a competitive number because to us it is entering into a system and we will be well-placed to expand the rail operations and the whole system and not just Line 1,” Jose Ma. Lim, president and chief executive officer of MPIC, told reporters on the sidelines of the bidding of the project.
The LRT 1 Cavite Extension, or the South Extension Project, the country’s biggest public-private partnership project, had been approved by the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Board.
The project involves the government absorbing the obligation to pay real property taxes (RPT), ensuring the integrity of the facility’s structure for two years, subsidizing unexpected surges in power rates beyond a particular range, permitting a 5-percent fare increase upon completion of the project and allowing the submission of negative bids.
The Neda Board’s approval also entailed an increase in the project cost to P64.9 billion due to addition of several components to the project’s terms.
The South Extension Project involves the extension of the existing LRT Line 1 which covers 21 stations from Roosevelt Avenue in Quezon City to Baclaran in Pasay City.
The Cavite project extends the service line by 11.7 kilometers covering 10 more stations that will pass through the cities of Parañaque and Las Piñas up to Bacoor, Cavite.
If things go smoothly, the project will be officially awarded next month.