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Govt set to start bidding of Bicol rail next week

By Darwin G. Amojelar | Jun. 01, 2015 at 11:25pm [ manilastandardtoday.com ]

The Transportation Department said Monday it plans to roll out the auction for the construction of a P170.7-billion commuter railway from Metro Manila to Bicol region next week.

“It should be published within the week,” Transportation Department spokesman Michael Arthur Sagcal said.

The proposed North-South Railway Project-South Line covers Metro Manila to Legazpi City, Albay, plus a number of existing and proposed branch lines with a total length of 653 kilometers.

It also consists of commuter railway operations between Tutuban and Calamba and long-haul railway operations between Tutuban and Legazpi, including extended long-haul rail operations on the branch line between Calamba and Batangas and extension between Legazpi and Matnog.

The project, which was approved the National Economic and Development Authority board in February, is expected to become operational by the first quarter of 2020.

Construction is expected to start by the first quarter of 2016.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. of Ayala Corp. earlier said they were keen on participating in the bidding for the NSRP– South Line, which would be implemented through public-private partnership scheme.

“To us, it is the most interesting one out of those big-ticket projects. If and when that is bidded out, it is something that we would like to take a serious look at,” AC Infrastructure president John Eric Francia said.

The south line project is a part of the P287-billion North-South Railway project, whose first phase involves the construction of a 36.7-kilometer narrow gauge elevated commuter railway from Malolos, Bulacan to Tutuban, Manila.

The first phase is projected to be completed by the third quarter of 2020. It would be financed either through official development assistance or the national budget.
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