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MANILA — The Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) said the construction of the P60-billion LRT1 Cavite extension project will proceed as scheduled even if there was only one bidder that submitted a qualified offer.

DoTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said that the bids and awards committee 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.

[box type=”default” size=”large”] Only one bidder submits a qualified proposal [/box]Abaya said that the evaluation would be completed in a week, after which the next steps in the bidding process will be announced.

The goal of the evaluation and the next steps are to ensure that the construction of the LRT1 Cavite extension will proceed in the second half of 2014.

Four groups had earlier been prequalified to participate in the project bidding but only one bidder submitted its technical and financial proposals to the transport agency on August 15.

The four groups that were declared eligible to participate in the bidding were Ayala and Metro Pacific-led Light Rail Manila Consortium; San Miguel’s SMC Infra Resources Inc.; DMCI Holdings Inc. of the Consunjis; and MTD-Samsung Consortium of Malaysia and Korea.

Under the DOTC original schedule for the LRT-1 Cavite Extension project, the DOTC-LRTA Special Bids and Awards Committee will have up to 30 days to evaluate the offer from August 15.

Once completed, the BAC will open and evaluate the financial proposals of bidders who pass the technical requirements of the project. The winning bidder will be determined within 15 days thereafter. It will take a maximum of 45 days to announce the winner.

The mass rail transit project will extend LRT 1 line from its end-station in Baclaran to parts of Parañaque, Las Piñas and to Bacoor, Cavite.

The 11.7-kilometer railway will provide train service to more than four million people. The LRT 1 Cavite extension project is the DOTC’s first public-private partnership project.

The Light Rail Manila Consortium, headed by Philippine conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp., submitted a bid that did not comply with the rules, said Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, transportation undersecretary. (Manila Bulletin)