MANILA – Government's most expensive public-private partnership (PPP) project so far is now up for bidding, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said Wednesday.
The DOTC has published an invitation to bidders for the P170.7-Billion South Line of the North-South Railway Project (NSRP), which involves the designing, constructing, financing, operating, and maintaining of a 653-kilometer rail system.
“This is our biggest project yet: the revival of the oldest rail system in Southeast Asia, beginning with the Manila-Legazpi section plus additional branch lines totaling 653 kilometers,” Transportation Sec. Jun Abaya said.
“Rail systems are a driver for inclusive socio-economic growth. They encourage trade and business activity, and provide access to employment and educational opportunities. The PNR, once a symbol of the country’s economic progress, should be modernized into a safe, convenient, and efficient system by 2020,” he added.
The winning bidder will be awarded the contact to design, construct, finance, operate, and maintain the following services:
• The 56-kilometer Commuter Rail service, for daily riders on the Tutuban, Manila to Calamba, Laguna route
• The 478-kilometer Long-Haul Rail service, for travelers on the Tutuban, Manila to Legazpi, Albay route
The Long-Haul service may also have the following extensions:
• 58 kilometers from Calamba, Laguna to Batangas City, Batangas
• 117 kilometers from Legazpi, Albay to Matnog, Sorsogon
The entire railway is expected to be operational in 2020, with 10 daily trips with seven train sets passing through 66 stations.
“This project will impact directly on a grassroots level. Those who have less in life, especially farmers and fisherfolk, will be given efficient means to expand their livelihood. This is our biggest project yet, and this is for those who need it most,” Abaya said.
The system is expected to yield a demand of 316,000 passengers per day on its opening year, and aims to entice around 44,000 public and private vehicle users to shift their commutes to the modernized railway.
DOTC is inviting both local and international companies to participate in the auction. A two-stage bidding process will be adopted, with the pre-qualification date targeted within the fourth quarter of 2015.
The bid opening is expected to be held in January 2016, and awarding is set in March 2016.