DOTr signs contracts for PNR, LRT-1 extension projects

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File photo of the Philippine National Railway (PNR) south commuter line running from Tutuban to Los Baños, Laguna — BW FILE PHOTO

THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) and consultants of the NSTRen Consortium signed on Friday a contract for construction of the Philippine National Railway Clark Phase 1, connecting Tutuban and Malolos.

Prior to the contract signing, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representative Tetsuya Yamada said the PNR Clark Phase 1 or the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project, which it will finance, will be a “game changer” for public transportation.

The project is expected to break ground either by yearend or by January.

Oriental Consultants Global Co., Ltd., Katahira & Engineers International, Tonichi Engineering Consultants, Inc., Pacific Consultants CO., Ltd., Nippon Koei Co., Ltd. serve as the main consultants, while DCCD Engineering Corp., Engineering and Development Corporation of the Philippines, J.F. Cancio & Associates, Schema Konsult, Inc., SMEC Philippines, Inc. and TCGI Engineers are the sub-consultants for the project.

According to the contract signed by DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and Oriental Consultants Global, Ltd. Manila office general manager Yuji Asano, the payment for these consultants shall not exceed $52,175,124.00.

DOTr also signed a procurement contract with Mitsubishi Corp. on the same day for an additional 120 Light Rail Vehicles with a minimum capacity of 1,388 passengers, to extend the Light Rail Transit Line 1 to Cavite. This will add 12 more kilometers to LRT-1, which has undergone a lengthy bidding process since October 2016.

“The final contract price is not only within budget, but is also approximately 20% lower than the bid price of the next-ranked bidder,” DOTr assistant secretary Timothy John R. Batan said in a statement.

The Cavite extension project will finally start construction next year and is expected to be completed by 2022.

Four coaches are expected to reach the Philippines by Aug. 31, 2020, while the next 40 LRVs are scheduled to arrive in December that same year. Spanish firm Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarrile, which serves as the project’s sub-contractor, will complete the delivery by Dec. 31, 2021. — A.G.A. Mogato