Cebu BRT phase 1 contract awarded to Chinese company

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

CHINA’s Hunan Road and Bridge Construction Group Ltd. bagged the contract for the first phase of the World Bank-funded bus rapid transit (BRT) project in Cebu City, according to the Department of Transportation (DoTr).

The notice of award was issued on Nov. 2 to Guo Yangxiao, the general manager of Hunan Road and Bridge, according to a copy of the document obtained by BusinessWorld. The company is based in Changsha City, Hunan Province.

The contract, which is worth P919.658 million, has two major components: the construction of the BRT infrastructure, including trunklines, sidewalk improvements, stations, and other appurtenances, from the Cebu Capitol to the existing South Bus Terminal and an urban realm enhancement, consisting of a link to the port, along Osmeña Boulevard.

“You are requested to furnish the performance security within 28 days,” Transportation Undersecretary for Administration and Finance Kim Robert C. de Leon said in his letter to the Chinese company.

According to the Philippine Information Agency, Hunan Road and Bridge is also undertaking the P2.43-billion Camalaniugan Bridge project, which will connect Aparri and Camalaniugan in Cagayan Province. The company’s Philippine partner is Agafer Construction and Trading.

Among the prospective bidders that attended the pre-bid conference for the first package of the Cebu BRT project in March 2021 were Aboitiz Construction, Inc., Megawide Construction Corp., Makati Development Corp., Socor Construction Corp., Marubeni Corp., China Civil Engineering Construction Corp., and Ascentia Construction, Inc.

The full Cebu BRT project, which is also funded by the Agence Française de Développement, and the Philippine government, has three packages. The first package, which will start in 2023, will have four stations.

According to the DoTr, the BRT project is part of the “basket of solutions” for Metro Cebu’s transport situation.

Such solutions include “pedestrian access and urban realm revitalization for the city,” the department said.

The objective of the project is “to improve the overall performance of the urban passenger transport system in the project corridor in terms of the quality and level of service, safety, and environmental safety,” it added.