By KRIS BAYOS
Manila, Philippines – Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II said yesterday the delay in the bidding process for the P30-billion Light Rail Transit (LRT) line 1 extension project is for the riding public’s benefit.
This as the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) is still finalizing the project’s terms of reference (TOR), particularly the parametric formula that will be used to compute for the fares.
Roxas earlier said the TOR for the LRT 1 extension project will be finalized this month. But until now, the official said government is still pencil pushing and doing recalculations to make sure that passengers will be charged reasonable fares.
“The easiest way is to set high fare rates since this the basis from where the contractor will get their return of investments and reimbursements,” he said. “But government doesn’t want passengers to be charged high fare rates that is why we are still calculating, recalculating and refining the TOR.”
Roxas said DoTC is still hopeful to finalize the TOR before the month ends and that the bidding process could start in early June. “The request for prequalification will certainly come this month. The request for bid may come later in the month or early next month,” he said.
Roxas urged the public to “just keep in mind that for every day of delay in the start of the bidding process, the fares are continuously reduced to a reasonable and affordable rate.”
Earlier, the Ayala Corporation and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation formed an alliance to vie for the multibillion project to extend the LRT 1 from Baclaran in Pasay City to Bacoor in Cavite.
Aside from designing and constructing the 12-kilometer superstructure, the winning contractor will also operate and maintain the entire length of LRT 1, which runs from Quezon City to Cavite province. (Kris Bayos)
FIRES HIT PANDACAN, BINONDO AREAS
A fire of undetermined origin hit a residential compound in Manila’s Pandacan area early yesterday, leaving eight families homeless. No one was initially reported injured in the fire, which started at the compound at Linceo Street in Pandacan after 8 a.m., a radio dzBB reported.
Firefighters put the fire under control at 9:13 a.m., even as arson investigators estimated the damage to property at P100,000. It was the second fire in Manila in the last 24 hours.
On Thursday afternoon, Jackson Dechavez, 40, a village councilor, was reported hurt in a fire that hit shopping mall in Binondo, Manila. Dechavez was hurt while trying to respond to the fire that hit the 1188 Shopping Center in Manila’s busy Binondo commercial district.
The fire caused some P50,000 in damage to property, even as arson investigators look into what caused the fire (GMA News)
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