PNR cancels bids for 3 projects after finding them ‘non-feasible’

THE Philippine National Railways (PNR) has canceled procurement for three projects, including a P1.8-billion design and build contract relocating track between Solis and Sucat stations, which were declared “no longer feasible.”

The other two cancellations involve a scheduled bid opening for the P404.3-million design and construction of the New PNR Pandacan Railway Bridge, and a P733.5-million contract to design and construct 13 steel bridges, the PNR said in a notice of cancellation to prospective bidders on Aug. 17. 

The Solis-Sucat contract covers pocket tracks, stations, box culverts, and other civil works, according to bid documents previously published by the PNR. The works are part of the North-South Commuter Railway Extension project from Solis in Manila to Calamba in Laguna.

The letter was posted on the PNR website.

PNR Chairman Roberto T. Lastimoso said in the notice that the bids were canceled as the projects “will no longer redound to the benefit of the government of the Philippines and the same are no longer technically feasible.”

The PNR board cited Section 41 (c) Rule X of the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 9184, or the Government Procurement Act, which gives the “head of procuring entity… the right to reject any and all bids, declare a failure of bidding for any justifiable and reasonable ground where the award of the contract will not redound to the benefit of the government of the Philippines.”

The head of procuring entity “may cancel the bidding for procurement projects if the physical and economic conditions have significantly changed to render the project no longer economically, financially, or technically feasible.”

In his first address to Congress, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. highlighted the need to “build upon already existing lines by modernizing these old railway systems.”

“There are dozens of railway projects — on the ground, above the ground, below ground, not just in Manila, but in other regions — at various stages of implementation, and with a combined cost of P1.9 trillion,” he said.

“It is clear in my mind that railways offer great potential as they continue to be the cheapest way of transporting goods and passengers.” — Arjay L. Balinbin