NEDA prefers solicited bids for LRT-2, MRT-3

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
NEDA prefers solicited bids for LRT-2, MRT-3
Passengers of MRT-3 queue at ticket booths situated inside the North Avenue Station and Taft Avenue Station in Manila on July 3, 2023.
Jesse Bustos / The Philippine STAR

MANILA, Philippines — The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has expressed preference for solicited bids from firms for the operations and maintenance (O&M) contracts of the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) and Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) over unsolicited proposals.

“We prefer solicited versus unsolicited because if it’s solicited, you tend to get better chances of getting a good winner,” NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters on the sidelines of a media training program during the weekend.

“You really don’t know what’s a good proposal until you see all the proposals on the table. You miss that when it is unsolicited,” he said.

Under a solicited mode, an implementing agency formally invites interested firms to submit bids for a project, with the selection of the private proponent to be done through a public competitive process.

Meanwhile, unsolicited proposals are those submitted by the private sector proponent to an implementing agency without formal solicitation from the government.

Balisacan said the Department of Transportation (DOTr), which is looking at bundling the O&M contracts of the two railways to be offered to the private sector, has yet to submit a proposal for such to the NEDA.

Earlier, the DOTr said it is planning to offer the O&M of LRT-2 and MRT-3 as a bundle to make it more attractive to potential bidders.

It said it will tap the services of the Asian Development Bank and International Finance Corp. for the terms of reference for the bundled contract.

While the government is looking into offering the contracts for the railways as a bundle, there are unsolicited proposals for the O&M of the MRT-3 covering North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has partnered with Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corp. for its unsolicited proposal to operate and maintain the MRT-3.

San Miguel Corp. (SMC) has also submitted an unsolicited proposal for the MRT-3 O&M and was awarded original proponent status under the previous administration.

The original proponent status will give the company the right to match offers from other firms when a Swiss challenge is conducted for the project.

MPIC operates LRT-1 through its subsidiary Light Rail Manila Corp., while SMC is building the MRT-7, which will link Quezon City to Bulacan.

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