The Department of Transportation (DoTr) has started soliciting bids for the provision of trains for the Malolos-Clark segment of the North-South Commuter Railway project.

In an invitation to bid announcement printed in a newspaper on Friday, the DoTr and the Philippine National Railway said they started selling bid documents for the project on Sept. 15, and will be accepting bid submissions until the morning of Dec. 16.

The project involves designing, manufacturing, delivering, installing, and integrating 38 eight-car trains that will traverse the Malolos-Clark railway. The company that wins the bidding must also provide technical support for the trains.

The bid documents are sold at P50,000 per package. Companies that will be submitting their bids must pay a bid security of 1 billion yen (about P459.99 million).

Qualified to bid are companies with experience as prime contractor, subcontractor or management contractor for at least the last 10 years. They must also have a minimum of two similar contracts that have been completed between January 2009 and December 2020.

Interested companies must submit their financial performance for the past five years to prove long-term profitability. They must also have access to a minimum of $70 million.

Earlier this week, a group led by Megawide Construction Corp. won the bid to build a 17-kilometer viaduct structure and elevated station buildings for the Malolos-Clark railway.

The Malolos-Clark railway is part of the 163-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway, which aims to link Calamba in Laguna to Clark in Pampanga through a three-segment railway, the others being the Calamba-Tutuban railway and the Tutuban-Malolos railway.

The project is funded through a loan by the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency. – Denise A. Valdez