Govt to rule on MetroPac’s MRT bid
The Transportation Department said it expects to make a decision on the unsolicited proposal of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. to rehabilitate and take over the operations and maintenance of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 by the end of the year.
“By end of the year, we expect to address the unsolicited proposal [of MPIC] after finishing the maintenance and operating issues of MRT3 and after finishing the Dalian issue,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
Tugade was referring to the audit of the 48 China-made trains worth P3.8 billion that the previous government procured from Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stocks Co.
The Transportation Department also tapped Japan’s Sumitomo Corp. and technical partner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to rehabilitate and restore the MRT 3 system to its original performance standards under a government-to-government official development assistance platform.
Tugade said MPIC was currently undertaking due diligence for the MRT3 system.
MPIC and Ayala Corp. earlier offered to invest up to P20 billion to rehabilitate, operate and maintain the MRT3.
The consortium is also looking at buying out the stake of the government and private investors in MRT 3.
The government through Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines own a combined 80-percent economic interest in MRT 3, while the balance is held by creditors of Metro Rail Transit Corp.
MPIC in 2011 offered to buy out the shares of LBP and DBP in MRT 3 for $1.1 billion.
The MPIC-Ayala group earlier said it expected to take over the O&M of MRT 3 in six months, from the submission of its application as the original proponent to the government in July.
MPIC submitted a proposal to the Department of Transportation in 2011 to invest $524 million to rehabilitate and upgrade MRT 3.
The Aquino administration, however, rejected Metro Pacific’s offer that would involve raising commuter fares.
MRT 3, which runs along Edsa from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City, serves over 500,000 passengers a day, beyond its rated capacity of 350,000.
The line has a fleet of 73 Czech-made air-conditioned rail cars.