Extension of LRT to Dasmariñas, Cavite mulled

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 27 2012 06:38 AM | Updated as of Aug 27 2012 11:35 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is looking at the possibility of further stretching the proposed P60-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 extension project all the way to Dasmarinas instead of only in Bacoor, Cavite.

Transport Secretary Mar Roxas said in an interview with reporters that the agency is set to conduct a feasibility and engineering study on the plan to extend the LRT to Dasmariñas before making a proposal to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

“We will make a further study,” Roxas stated, saying it would be more prudent to cover the towns of Imus and Dasmarinas in the province of Cavite.

The Cavite extension project would increase the span of Line 1 from 20.7 kilometers to 32.4 kilometers and will have a new south endpoint in Niog, Bacoor in Cavite. The extension includes eight stations (with provision for two future stations), 10.5 kilometers of viaduct, support beams, and three intermodal facilities.

Approximately 10.5 kilometers of the Cavite Extension System would be elevated and 1.2 kilometers would be at grade level. The government has set aside P30 billion to acquire up to 39 new light rail vehicles for this project.

The extension would open up Line 1 services to the nearly four million residents of Parañaque, Las Piñas and the province of Cavite.

The Manila Line 1 project would bid out the operations and maintenance of the existing LRT Line 1 system, the construction of the Line 1 Cavite Extension, and the O&M (operation and maintenance) of both existing and extension as an integrated system.

The construction of the tracks, the stations and all its attendant facilities, as well as O&M, worth about P30 billion, would be bidded out. The other half of the P60-billion project, which includes the purchase of the coaches, would come from the government through official development assistance (ODA).

The DOTC has moved the deadline for the submission of qualification documents to Sept. 28 instead of the Aug. 22 original schedule.

“In response to the request of several prospective bidders for more time to prepare the qualification documents and in light of the recent revisions to the instructions to prospective bidders, the qualification documents submission date is extended to Sept. 28,” the DOTC said.

Business conglomerates present during the investors’ briefing and pre-qualification conference last July 10 included First Pacific and affiliate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), San Miguel Infrastructure, Ayala-controlled Makati Development Corp, FF Cruz and DMCI.

Foreign companies represented during the meeting were Japanese-owned Marubeni, Sumitomo, Mitsubishi, Itochu as well as French transportation contractors RATP Dev and Systa as well as Ecorail and Leighton Contractors.

Banks present during the conference were Ayala-controlled Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), BDO Universal Bank and China Bank of retail magnate Henry Sy, PNB Capital of banking and beverage tycoon Lucio Tan, Dutch financial giant ING Bank, and American-owned Citi.

The Aquino government through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme has earmarked P500 billion for major infrastructure projects including railways, tollroads, airports, among others, over the next five years.