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New deadline set for Philippines LRT advisers

The Philippines is set to re-bid the consultancy contract for the $1.5bn LRT-Line 1 Cavite extension project after first bidding failed last month.

Consultancy services firms have been given until January 30 to submit final bids for Manila’s PHP834.5 million LRT-line 1 extension feasibility studies, after the procurement authority called a halt to the bidding process last month.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Bids and Awards Committee (BAC)’s second invitation to consultancy firms to express interest in feasibility studies follows the announcement on December 19 of a failed pre-qualification stage.

A plethora of contestants were barred from the competition due to conflicting interests with the concurrent LRT-1/LRT-1 North Extension and LRT- 2 project. 

The DOTC said applications for eligibility would be evaluated based on non-discretionary “pass/fail” criteria and the BAC would draw up a shortlist of consultants in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

Five prospective bidders are to be shortlisted and vetting will be based on applicable experience (30 percent), qualifications of personnel (50 percent), and current workload relative to capacity (20 percent).

The DOTC, Light Rail Transit Authority  (LRTA) as well as the Light Rail Manila Consortium (LRMC) have said they want to elect an independent consultant of appropriate international standing and 20 years relevant experience.

The consultant is expected to monitor the progress of the works as well as the integrated testing of the light rail vehicles to be procured by the government and grant time extensions for delayed works, among other requirements.

The government, infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPIC) and conglomerate Ayala Corp signed the concession agreement for the largest public-private partnership (PPP) project awarded so far by the Aquino administration on October 2. 

MPIC’s Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp controls 55 percent of the LRMC, Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp has 35 percent and the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure’s Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) has 10 percent.

Under the agreement, LRMC will operate and maintain the existing LRT-1 from Roosevelt in Quezon City up to Baclaran and at the same time construct an 11.7-kilometre extension to the Niog area in Bacoor,