MANILA, Philippines – After several delays, the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) has approved the awarding of the P65 billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite extension project to the tandem of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) and Ayala Corp.
LRTA spokesperson Atty. Hernando Cabrera said the LRTA Board has finally approved the awarding of the project to the Light Rail Manila Consortium based on the recommendation of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) on Monday.
“The LRTA Board approved the award as recommended by the SBAC,” Cabrera said.
The LRTA Board, chaired by Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya, is composed of officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Finance (DOF), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) , LRTA administrator, and a representative from the private sector.
The NEDA Board, chaired by President Aquino, had also approved the offer made by the consortium in June.
According to Cabrera, the LRTA Board gave Abaya the go-signal to sign and issue the Notice of Award and Concession Agreement for the for the public-private partnership (PPP) project.
“Secretary Abaya was authorized to sign and issue the Notice of Award and the Concession Agreement,” Cabrera said.
The LRTA Board’s meeting on the project was postponed twice, the first due to the lack of quorum and the second because of Typhoon Glenda.
The meeting was held Wednesday but the awarding of the project was not discussed because other items in the agenda were prioritized.
The LRTA Board met again Friday morning where the award of the project to the MPIC-Ayala group was finally approved.
The Cavite extension project involves increasing the LRT-1 from 20.7 kilometers to 32.4 kilometers with a new south endpoint in Niog, Bacoor, Cavite.
It aims to provide LRT services to an estimated 4 million residents of Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Cavite.
The project’s bidding faced controversy after SM Prime Holdings Inc. filed a case against the DOTC and LRTA in relation to the transfer of the proposed LRT and Metro Rail Transit common station to Ayala’s Trinoma Mall instead of the original location in SM North EDSA Mall.
SM argued that based on a memorandum of agreement signed in 2009, the common station should be built near its mall and not Ayala’s.