THE Transportation department has invited shortlisted Chinese consultants to submit bids for the project management consultancy services contract of the Mindanao Railway Project (Tagum-Davao-Digos segment).

The Department of Transportation (DoTr), “pursuant to the applicable executive agreements between the government of the Philippines and the government of the People’s Republic of China, intends to apply the sum of P3,094,251,412 being the approved budget for the contract to payments under the contract for the project consultancy services of the Mindanao Railway Project: Tagum-Davao-Digos Segment,” according to the department’s General Bid Bulletin No. 2020-01, posted on its website.

The department said offers received in excess of the approved budget for the contract will be automatically rejected at bid opening.

Detailed design and works must be completed within 17 months, the DoTr said, with 33 months set as the period for the contractor to be engaged in pre-construction activities and the defects notification period.

“Bidders should have completed a contract of similar nature and side to the project,” it said.

The shortlisted consultants are: China Railway Design Corp. and Guangzhou Wanan Construction Supervision Co., Ltd. Consortium; China Railway Liuyuan Group Co., Ltd.; and CCCC Railway Consultants Group Co., Ltd.

Bidding would be conducted through limited competitive bidding procedures using non-discretionary “pass/fail” criterion, according to the Dec. 9 notice of eligibility and shortlisting addressed to the shortlisted consultants.

“A complete set of bidding documents may be downloaded free of charge from the website of the DoTr from 09 December 2020 until 9:00 a.m. of 04 January 2021, provided that bidders shall pay the non-refundable fee… in the amount of P75,000 not later than the submission of their bids,” the notice said.

The railway project, one of the Duterte administration’s priority infrastructure projects, was originally scheduled to start construction in January 2019 but right of way issues, mainly in Davao City, held back the timetable.

The P82.9-billion railway’s first phase, covering the 100.2-kilometer Tagum-Davao-Digos segment, is financed through an official development assistance package from the Chinese government. — Arjay L. Balinbin