MANILA, Philippines - Awarding of the P60-billion Light Rail Transit line 1 Cavite extension project has been slated for April next year, after the auction pushes through in January 2013, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said.
"We will award this in April. We will try our best to get this train running before the President steps down from office. It would be tough but that would be the goal," Abaya said during the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines, Inc.'s (EJAP) Economic Forum 2012 on Thursday.
But Rene S. Santiago, consultant for transportation, said the auction scheduled in January may be "unrealistic."
"If you follow the rules, the process will take some time... My realistic assessment is that it will be bid out in April," Santiago said in the same forum.
Last month, four firms and groups, the Light Rail Manila Consortium of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp., San Miguel Corp.'s SMC Infra Resources Inc., DMCI Holdings, Inc. and MTDC-Samsung Consortium pre-qualified for the bidding of the LRT-1 Cavite extension project.
The project will extend the existing system from its current Baclaran south-endpoint to Niyog in Bacoor, Cavite and possibly expand further to Dasmarinas City and Imus.
Once the project is completed, it will increase the ridership of LRT-1 from the current 500,000 passengers a day to 700,000.