NETHERLANDS-based consulting firm RebelGroup International B.V. has won the consulting services contract for the Kennon Road rehabilitation project.

The government wants to privatize the operation and maintenance of the zigzag road to Baguio City, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar said his department had scheduled a meeting on Feb. 2 with the winning consulting firm, RebelGroup International.

He said the department and the private firm would discuss the pre-feasibility study and project structuring up to the tendering of Kennon Road rehabilitation to private concessionaires.

The privatization of Kennon Road is a long-term solution to the costly maintenance of the 33.7-kilometer road, according to Mr. Villar.

The road “has long been frequented by landslides, which resulted in closures, especially during the rainy season,” the department noted.

“The first meeting would define the roles and expectations of DPWH and the Netherlands-based consultant; identify key focal persons, deadline of deliverables; and work plan of the transaction advisor for the assignment,” it added.

The Public-Private Partnership Center said in its website that the Kennon Road project involves the rehabilitation and improvement of the landslide-prone sections of the mountain road. The establishment of a toll system is also part of the plan. — Arjay L. Balinbin