By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz
MANILA – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is seeking the participation of private Japanese firms in the bidding for several big-ticket transportation projects in the railway and aviation sectors.
During the Philippine Investment Opportunities forum in Tokyo on Tuesday, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista showcased three projects up for bidding under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.
These are the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP), the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) and the upgrade of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
“Following our President’s directive, the DOTr has cast the vision of transforming the Philippines’ transport industry and elevating it to global standards, characterized by comfortable, accessible, safe, and affordable transport services throughout the country,” Bautista said.
For the MMSP, private firms are invited to bid for its operation and maintenance contract.
Worth PHP76.89 billion, the 36-kilometer subway project would require the winning contractor to be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the subway trains, stations, depot and other systems infrastructure during a concession period of 15 years of full operations.
“Also included are maintenance of facilities and equipment under the Philippine Railway Institute, collection of passenger fares, and commercial development rights within prescribed station boundaries, among others,” he said.
On the other hand, the 147-kilometer NSCR is looking for a private partner that would be responsible for the operation and maintenance of its trains, stations, depot, other systems and infrastructure with a concession period of 15 years for full operations in addition to a partial operations period.
“The project also includes interoperations management within the rail system by trains from other lines such as the subway project, collection of passenger fares, and exercise of commercial development rights within prescribed station boundaries, among others,” Bautista said.
The bidding for both the MMSP and the NSCR will begin around the fourth quarter of 2023, and will end by the first quarter of 2024.
For the NAIA upgrade, the DOTr is looking for partners interested in its rehabilitation, operation and expansion, in addition to its connection to the MMSP.
The NAIA PPP project, worth around PHP170.6 billion, aims to address the “longstanding challenges” of the airport and to increase its capacity to at least 62 million passengers yearly.
The PPP contract also includes the rehabilitation of airport terminals as well as the improved operation and maintenance of the airport’s airside and landside facilities.
“The concessionaire’s aeronautical revenues will consist of passenger service charges, landing and takeoff fees, aircraft parking, tacking, and cargo, and others. The concessionaire will be allowed to conduct airport-related commercial activities within the project land,” Bautista said.
The bidding for the NAIA PPP project has already begun on Aug. 23.
“DOTr will bridge the gap towards our vision for the Philippines’ transportation sector by developing infrastructure and delivering transport services across our four operating sectors in airports and aviation, maritime, railways, and roads,” he added. (PNA)