THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is formally seeking bidders for its next big-ticket railway public private partnership (PPP) deal, the proposed P65.1-billion Light Rail Transit Line 6.

A bid invite posted on its website showed that the 19-kilometer LRT-6 will run from Niyog in Bacoor to Dasmariñas City in Cavite.

The project is linked to a previously awarded PPP deal, the LRT-1 Cavite extension project. That project involves the extension of the LRT-1 in Metro Manila to Bacoor, Cavite, by a consortium led by Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp.

The invite for the LRT-6 project indicated that interested bidders could purchase bid documents starting Dec. 28, 2015.

The submission of prequalification documents, which will determine which groups will be allowed to submit bid offers, has been set for March 4, 2016. The timing suggests it will be difficult to award the project within the term of President Aquino, who steps down in the middle of 2016.

The DOTC estimated that about 200,000 Cavite residents would use the LRT-6 once it has been finished.

“Currently, Cavite is experiencing a rapid growth and many of its residents travel to Manila for work and education purposes,” the PPP Center said in its website.

“The project will improve passenger mobility and reduce the volume of vehicular traffic in the Cavite area by providing a higher capacity mass transit system. It also aims to spur economic development along the extension corridor,” it added.

22 December 2015
By Miguel R. Camus