Philippines: 'No Reason to Further Delay' LRT Cavite Project — DOTC

After much delay in finalizing the bidding for the P64.9-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT1) Cavite Extension Project, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said there is "no reason" to delay it further.

"Wala na humihingi ng extension, as far as I recall, wala [No one has asked for another extension, as far as I recall, no one]. I think there is no reason to further delay it," said Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, of the DOTC's Legal and Procurement Division.

"As far as the government is concerned, we've tried to make the bid parameters as fair as possible, taking into consideration the concerns of the private sector for viability. It is just rolling it out," he said.

This is the second time that government is bidding out the LRT1 Cavite Extension Project. A bidding held in August last year failed after only one bidder, the Light Rail Manila Consortium, submitted an offer.

The DOTC has also banned companies with pending disputes with the government to participate in the bidding for the project.

In a Special Bid Bulletin released in March, the DOTC said, "Outstanding dispute with the government refers to any pending judicial, administrative or alternative dispute resolution proceeding, including suspension or blacklisting proceedings, between the bidder and consortium member, their affiliates or contractor proposed by the bidder or consortium on the other hand, and the national government or any of its instrumentalities or any government-owned or controlled corporation which is intended to provide a critical basic necessity and/or is of paramount public interest and importance and where in the opinion of DOTC, such a dispute might be an impediment to the successful implementation of the project."

Among those that have already submitted their bids for the project are the Light Rail Manila Consortium led by Metro Pacific Investments Corp., SMC Infra Resources Inc., Globalvia Inversiones S.A.U., Megawide Construction Corp., MTD Philippines Inc., DMCI Holdings Inc., and Ecorail Services Inc.

The deadline for the submission of bids for the project was on April 28.

Besides banning firms or entities with disputes with the government, the DOTC also improved the terms of the project, which include the government absorbing the obligation to pay real property taxes, ensuring the integrity of the facility's structure for a two-year period, subsidizing unexpected surges in power rates beyond a particular range, and permitting a 5percent fare increase upon completion of the project.


Copyright 2014 - The Manila Times, Philippines

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