PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS for the P73.93-billion bus system project in Davao City have been given more time to submit bids — until Feb. 10 — the Transportation department’s procuring agent said.

The Department of Transportation (DoTr) started inviting bidders in November last year, through the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM), for the design, construction, and completion of the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project, also known as the Davao High Priority Bus System Project.

The deadline for bid submission was originally set for Jan. 6, but the PS-DBM announced in its most recent general bid bulletin that it has been moved to Feb. 10 at 10 a.m.

This is “to provide prospective bidders sufficient time to evaluate the bid documents and attachments and be able to prepare better bids,” the PS-DBM added.

The pre-bid conference took place on Nov. 26. In its presentation, the Bids and Awards Committee said that the project is part of the transport roadmap of the City Government of Davao, and is intended to replace jeepneys.

It is the first public bus system in Davao City aimed at providing efficient and affordable transport, it added.

The bus system will have 29 routes with a total route network of 672 kilometers, operating on over 580 kilometers of roads, and traversing the entirety of Davao City.

It will be delivered via a combination of diesel and electric bus fleets.

The project is “expected to commence construction in February 2022 and will commence operations in August 2023,” the committee also said.

In its invitation to bid last year, the DoTr said the government had applied for financing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The DoTr sought bidders for three contract packages, including a contract that covers the construction of Buhangin Depot, Calinan Depot, and Calinan Driving School.

The second contract is for the Toril Depot and Terminal, Bunawan Terminal, and Calinan Terminal, while the third contract covers the civil works along bus routes, including bus stops, bus lanes, and other pedestrian improvement works.

It will be an open competitive bidding, and will follow ADB’s Single-Stage, One-Envelope procedure. This means that bidders will submit bids in one envelope containing both the price proposal and the technical proposal. The envelopes will be opened in public at the date and time advised.

After evaluation and approval, the contract will be awarded to the bidder whose bid has been determined to be “the lowest evaluated substantially responsive bid,” the ADB says on its website.

Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope O. Libiran has said the civil works component will cost P19.71 billion, while the bus fleet, both diesel and electric, will cost P21.17 billion. — Arjay L. Balinbin