MANILA — The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) on Friday night finally awarded the Php65-billion Light Rail Transit (LRT) 1 Cavite Extension project after repeated delays.
DOTC spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal said it was awarded to the Light Rail Manila Consortium (LRMC) despite the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court (SC) on the transfer of the common station.
LRMC is the project’s lone bidder composed of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Ayala Corp. and Macquire Infrastructure Holdings Philippines Pte. Ltd
DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya meanwhile confirmed the award in a statement saying that the project was for the best interests of the riding public.
“We are pleased to push the project forward for the sake of the riding public, especially those who live in the southern part of Metro Manila such as Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Muntinlupa, as well as Cavite,” Abaya said.
“This project will level the playing field for them, giving them convenient access to employment and educational opportunities in the metropolis,” he added.
To recall, the High Court issued a TRO against the transfer of the common station of the LRT 1 and Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3), which was sought by SM Prime Holdings Inc. last August 1.
SM Prime Holdings earlier said that the transfer violates a 2009 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between them and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA).
Since then, Abaya has been coordinating with the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to proceed with the award without going against the SC.
The DOTC said that the award is subject to the final decision of the SC with respect to the common station project, which will connect LRT-1, Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) and MRT-7 at the EDSA-North Avenue area.
Meanwhile, construction of the common station will be procured separately once the case is resolved.
At present, the consortium has 20 days to comply with post-award requirements which include paying 10 percent of its Php9.35-billion premium offer.
Only after completing the requirements can the concession agreement be signed by both parties.
LRMC may begin construction works and take over LRT-1 operations within a maximum of one year from the signing of the Concession Agreement, or by October 2015, the DOTC said.
The project should be fully operational within 54 months, or by May 2019.
With the project, the current 20.7-kilometer LRT-1 will be given an extension of approximately 11.7 km from Baclaran in Pasay City to Bacoor City in Cavite.