Published: Fri, August 30, 2013
By Gellie Bilgera
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) blames issues on concession agreements for recent successive delays in biddings for public-private partnership (PPP) projects.
Bidders have asked for more time to review and clarify provisions in the agreements before presenting their bids.
On Wednesday, the DOTC deferred the deadline for the submission of bids for the P1.72 billion automated and contactless single ticketing system for the MRT and LRT.
The project aims to eliminate long queues at train stations by having a single ticket for all train lines which will eventually be used for other modes of transport and as a debit card.
This is the third PPP project under the DOTC to be postponed.
On Tuesday, the DOTC deferred the submission of bids for the P17.5 billion Mactan Cebu International Airport expansion project.
Earlier this month, the bidding for the P60 billion LRT1 Cavite extension project failed.
Migs Sagcal, DOTC spokesperson, said: "The main concerns were the real property taxes and the right-of-way issues. The private sector thinks the government should take more risks when it comes to that."
Sagcal sadded that the DOTC is aware that these modernization projects are long overdue, but it has to carefully sift through proposals from bidders to protect the public's interests and ensure that there will be no room for corruption.
He said the department couldn't be too careful, as it had learned a hard lesson from past projects.
Sagcal said: "We also have to look our history of bad projects, which encountered problems such as NAIA 3, with the delays in implementing it, North Rail."
Right now, the department is still working out the schedule of the bidding for the Mactan Cebu International Airport Expansion Project, the LRT-MRT Automated Ticketing System, and the LRT 1 Cavite Extension Project.
While these projects promise a long-awaited upgrade in the country's transportation system, delays in their implementation mean that the public, for the time being, will still have to put up with long lines and travel times.