An official said that the procurement process for the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) will start this month, considered as another big development in line with the completion of the transport modernization project in Davao City.

In an interview on Monday with Department of Transportation (DOTr) Supervising Administrative Office Nestor Kilian Tabada during the Sakay Ta Bai program aired on the Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR), he bared that the planning stage for the HPBS project is now being finalized and the procurement process is up next.

“This month, kining of October, diri na gyud mag-kick-off ang atong procurement. Mag-start na siya within a few weeks time kung dili man, until the end of the month. Pahumanay tong planning then pagsugod sa procurement (This October, we will kick-off the procurement phase. We will start in a few weeks or until the end of the month. The planning stage is almost done, after that, we will start with the procurement),” Tabada said.

Currently, he said, they are preparing the documents and putting all the needed components into paper, and list down the specifications before the bidding proper starts to ensure that the needed components are market-responsive.

Tabada said that the procurement process is the most exciting phase of the project. This will be the time where the plans will come into reality and doubts from the public should the project will disappear.

“Mao pod na ang challenge karon. As we finalize the planning stage, and we step into the procurement phase, dapat klaro and kumpleto ang specifications sa atong project (That is the challenge now as we finalize the planning stage and step into the procurement stage. We have to make sure that the specifications of the project are complete),” he said.

Since the HPBS project is being executed under the official development assistance of the Asia Development Bank (ADB), they also ensure that the procurement process adheres to the guidelines set by ADB in terms of economy, efficiency, fairness, transparency, quality, and value for money.

“Ang tumong lang man (is to) make sure ang kuhaon nga contracts nga buhaton para madeliver quality gani, world-class ang quality so those guidelines are in place so that quality and value for money nga makuha from these contracts (The purpose of these guidelines is to make sure that the contract that will be made can deliver world-class quality output),” he said.

The DOTr official underscored that they are now preparing the documents for the bidding proper. He said that the HPBS project has three major components with its respective contract packages up for bidding. These include the public transport system improvement, institutional capacity strengthening, and social development program.

For the first component, he said that there are four contract packages for the civil works; two for the bus fleets both diesel and electric buses; and the intelligent transport system, which will integrate the HPBS system that includes the automated fare collection system, traffic signal priority, real-time passenger information system an app that helps the passengers track the busses. Another contract is for the general contractor.

For component 2, he said that it is mostly consulting service. They will look for a firm that is eligible to operate the bus fleet that will also involve the organizational planning capacity building. Also, in component 2 is a contract intended for firms that can operate a driving school for the bus drivers.

On the other hand, for Component 3, Tabada said that they are looking for consultants that can help implement the SDP. Part of it is the external monitoring and evaluation consultant.

With this, he is optimistic that more employment opportunities will be generated during the implementation.

Meanwhile, the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project is expected to be fully operational by the third quarter of 2023.CIO