LRT line proposed for Quezon Avenue

Posted on July 15, 2016

THE unsolicited rail proposal endorsed by the state-run Philippine National Railway (PNR) calls for a Light Rail Transit line along the length of Quezon Avenue.

The elevated LRT line pitched by East West Rail Corp. and Alloy MTD Group will run for nine kilometers and consist of 11 stations from Diliman, Quezon City to Lerma in Manila, Public-Private Partnership Center Executive Director Andre C. Palacios said in a text message.

The joint venture will build the railway and operate it for 30 years before transferring it to the government, he added.

The PNR East West Railway Project Committee, for its part, confirmed: “The PNR has submitted an unsolicited proposal to PPP and NEDA and it is undergoing evaluation stage pursuant to the BoT law.”

Neither Mr. Palacios nor the PNR said how much the project was worth.

A line from Diliman to Lerma would connect the University of the Philippines Diliman campus to the University Belt, where the University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University are located.

The Light Rail Transit Line 2 connects the western part of Metro Manila to the eastern suburbs, traversing southern Quezon City along Aurora Boulevard on its way to the capital city.

A track along Quezon Avenue would connect Manila to the northern part of Quezon City. In turn, the Diliman area at the southern terminus of Commonwealth Avenue is set to be connected to suburban Bulacan through the P69.3-billion Metro Rail Transit Line 7 to be completed by San Miguel Corp. by August 2019.

Malaysia’s Alloy MTD Capital BHD has participated in joint ventures that expressed interest in previous PPP projects, such as the failed Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project and the more successful Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project eventually won by the SMC-K Water consortium.

Mr. Palacios previously disclosed the PNR’s July 5 submission of the unsolicited proposal, speaking on the sidelines of the BusinessWorld Economic Forum 2016 on Tuesday evening.

“The agency [PNR] already did preliminary evaluation and determined that this proposal meets the criteria of the BoT Law and the implementing rules, and therefore the proponent [East West Corp. and Alloy MTD Group] is granted the status of original proponent,” he said then.

He added that the technical working group of the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) will review the proposal in 15 working days.

Afterwards, the ICC would have to thresh out technical issues first before it is evaluated and approved by the National Economic and Development Authority Board.

The proposed Quezon Avenue LRT marks the first such pitch from the private sector to be submitted to the NEDA under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Mr. Duterte’s economic managers have stated that the government will be more welcoming of unsolicited proposals, opening up that channel after former President Benigno S. C. Aquino III’s government took a less encouraging position. -- Vince Alvic Alexis F. Nonato and Janina C. Lim