THE GOVERNMENT is seeking bids from Japanese suppliers for the contract to supply train sets for the Malolos-Clark Railway Project and the North-South Railway Project-South Commuter line.

“The Department of Transportation (DoTr)… through its procuring agent, the Procurement Service (PS), now invites sealed bids in a single stage (without prequalification) two-envelope (technical and financial) from eligible bidders for the procurement” of the train sets, the department announced on its website Monday.

It said the contract involves the design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing, commission, integration, and technical support for “seven-unit eight-car train sets.”

The contract will be funded from proceeds of a loan provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which was signed on Jan. 21, 2019.

According to a copy of the loan agreement posted on the Finance department’s website, JICA had agreed to lend the Philippines up to 167.199 billion yen for the North-South Commuter Railway Extension Project.

“It is intended that the proceeds of this loan will be applied to eligible expenditure under this contract for the procurement of Rolling Stock – Limited Express Trainsets of the project,” the Transportation department said.

It said bidding procedures are in accordance with the Japanese official development assistance loan guidelines for procurement exercises.

“Bidders may obtain further information from and inspect the bidding documents at the office of PS-DBM (Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management), from Mondays to Fridays during office hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.,” the DoTr said.

A complete set of bid documents will cost a non-refundable P45,000, to be purchasable upon the submission of application documents.

The pre-bid conference is scheduled for March 12.

Bids must be submitted on or before 10 a.m. on May 8, accompanied by a bid security of 440.980 million yen.

The DoTr said the criteria include sound financial position on the part of bidders over the past five years. Other qualifications are average annual turnover over the past five years of over $100 million, and liquid assets of $24 million.

“Bidder must have experience as prime contractor (single entity or joint venture member), subcontractor or management contractor for at least 10 years, from Jan. 1, 2009,” it added.

According to the JICA-Philippine government loan agreement, the project aims to strengthen the transportation network and alleviate serious congestion in the greater capital region by extending the North-South Commuter Railway from Malolos to Clark International Airport and from Solis, in Tondo, Manila, to Calamba.

The project is expected to contribute to the expansion of the capital region’s economy and improve its investment environment. — Arjay L. Balinbin