Gov’t to award metro subway track contracts by February

THE Transportation department said Tuesday it expects to award the electrical and mechanical (E&M) systems and track works contracts for the Metro Manila Subway Project by February.

The target date to award the contract is “February 2021,” Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope O. Libiran told BusinessWorld by phone.

She said the bid submission and opening of technical bids are scheduled for Nov. 12.

Ms. Libiran added the technical and financial evaluation will take more than two months to complete.

The deadline for submission of bids for E&M and track works was initially set on March 24, with a bid security of 800 million yen. The schedule was moved to November due to the pandemic.

The first phase of the subway project covers three packages: rolling stock; E&M systems and track works; as well as the first three underground stations, tunnels and depot construction, and depot equipment and buildings.

The department said in August that the contract for the rolling stock package was expected to be awarded in November.

The contractor is to design, execute and complete 30 train sets consisting of eight electric multiple units or a total of 240 train cars, according to the department’s bid bulletin.

Only the joint venture of Sumitomo Corp. and Japan Transport Engineering Co. (J-Trec) had submitted a bid proposal to provide train sets for the first phase of the subway project.

The Department invited Japanese firms in December to bid to supply train sets, as well as E&M systems and rail track works for the first phase of the subway project, a flagship project funded by Japan official development assistance.

The Metro Manila Subway will have 17 stations: East Valenzuela, Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora, North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, East Avenue, Anonas, Katipunan, Ortigas, Shaw, Kalayaan Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Lawton, Senate, FTI, NAIA Terminal 3, and Bicutan.

The tunneling work on the first phase of the subway project is expected to begin in the second half of 2021.

The Transportation department received early this year parts of the boring machine that will be used to build Metro Manila’s first subway line.

The first tunnel boring machine is expected to arrive from Japan in January.

The government broke ground for the first three stations in February 2019 after the Transportation department signed a P51-billion deal with the Shimizu joint venture, which consists of Shimizu Corp., Fujita Corp., Takenaka Civil Engineering Co. Ltd., and EEI Corp. The department hopes to begin tunneling works this year.

The Philippines and Japan signed in March 2018 the first tranche of the P355.6-billion loan for the project.

While the public will have to wait until 2025 for full operations of the 17-station subway, the government is planning to launch partial operations, covering the first three stations by the fourth quarter of 2021. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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