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MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is set to order the rebidding of the proposed P60-billion light rail transit line 1 (LRT1) extension project next week after only one bidder submitted a non-compliant bid last Aug. 15.

Michael Arthur Sagcal, DOTC spokesperson, said in a text message that the joint special bids and awards committee (SBAC) of the agency and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) is expected to convene and pass a resolution ordering the rebidding of the biggest infrastructure project of the Aquino administration.

The resolution to formalize the recommendation of the joint SBAC would be submitted to Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya as the committee failed to meet this week due to the floods caused by the heavy rains brought about by southwest monsoon and typhoon Maring.

“The SBAC will convene next week to formalize its recommendation on our next steps. It was unable to convene this week due to notice requirements which the work cancellations prevented,” he said.

The DOTC is looking at rebidding the project as allowed under the Built-Operate-Transfer (BOT) law without sacrificing the original timetable of the project under the public private partnership (PPP) scheme.

In case of a re-bidding, a single-stage process is possible in order to meet the original deadlines,” Sagcal said.

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Under a single-stage process, he explained that all interested parties would be required to submit the prequalification documents together with the technical and financial proposals.

Last Aug. 15, only the Light Rail Manila Consortium led by infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) submitted its technical and financial proposals but the SBAC described the bid as non-compliant.

Other bidders that were prequalified last November including the MTD-Samsung Group, San Miguel Infrastructure Resources Inc., and DMCI Holdings Inc. withdrew their participation in the bidding process.

Abaya earlier said the government is looking at extending the bidding process to address the concerns of the prequalified bidders that withdrew their participation.

“The BAC is looking at the possibility of extending the bidding process and reevaluating the existing terms to further address the commercial issues raised by the pre-qualified bidders,” Abaya said.

He pointed out that the primary concern of the agency is to make sure that construction works of the proposed LRT1 extension all the way to Niog in Bacoor, Cavite would start on time.

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