MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) on Tuesday said it received a proposal from the Czech Republic for the purchase of new trains for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT).
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the offer involves the sale of new trains which the Philippines can pay through a concessional loan scheme under an Official Development Assistance (ODA).
"We inquired if they will have ODA available and we are now studying the proposal if this is possible," Abaya said.
But Abaya said the negotiations, including the manufacture of new trains, may take one to two years.
The receipt of the offer, which was conveyed by the office of the Czech Republic's Ambassador to the Philippines, made the DOTC defer its public bidding for the supply of new trains for the MRT.
Moreover, the DOTC is also studying the Spanish government's offer of sending second-hand trains, if these could fit and run on the existing tracks of the MRT.
The 17-kilometer MRT, which runs along EDSA from North Ave. in Quezon City to Taft Ave. in Manila, carries an average of 500,000 passengers daily.
The DOTC is in the middle of bidding out a contract for the acquisition of 26 light rail vehicles for said train system this year.