Politics

EDSA Busway bidding seen possible next year

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PHILIPPINE STAR/MICHAEL VARCAS

THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) is confident it can bid out the Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) Busway project next year. 

The timeline was disclosed after the DoTr made good time on the signing of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) public-private partnership (PPP) project last month.

The NAIA PPP project is considered the fastest project to progress from submission to investment coordination committee approval to concession agreement signing. 

Transportation Undersecretary Timothy John R. Batan said the signing of the NAIA PPP project sets a precedent for the agency’s other projects.

“(The NAIA PPP) is our fastest. Of course, we try to work as much as possible to push as much as we can to match that, if not faster. But of course, each project is different,” Mr. Batan told reporters.

Currently, the DoTr is finalizing the feasibility study on the bus system, Mr. Batan said.

“We just had the market sounding which is part of all PPP projects. So, within the next few months we’ll finalize the EDSA Busway feasibility study,” he said.

In February, the PPP Center and the DoTr said they had conducted the initial market sounding activity for the EDSA Busway project. 

The DoTr said it is hoping to privatize the EDSA Busway via a solicited bidding scheme similar to that of the NAIA PPP project.

In October, the DoTr said it expects to start the bidding for the EDSA PPP project in 2025.

The EDSA Busway Project involves the financing, design, construction, procurement of low-carbon buses, route planning, and operations and maintenance of the busway.

Last year, the PPP Center and the DoTr signed a technical assistance agreement for the provision of project preparation and transaction advisory services.

Once finalized, the study will be forwarded to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for approval to officially commence with bidding.

“We’ll submit this to NEDA, similar to what we did with the NAIA PPP. We will get approvals and then we will eventually bid it out,” Mr. Batan said. — Ashley Erika O. Jose