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Sunday, May 26, 2024

MPIC submits unsolicited bid to take over MRT 3 operations

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Infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. renewed its interest in Metro Rail Transit Line 3.

MPIC chairman and president Manuel Pangilinan said the group submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Department of Transportation for the operation and maintenance of MRT 3 which runs along EDSA.

MPIC teamed up with Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corp. for the unsolicited bid.

“We wanted to take a second look at it,” Pangilinan said when asked why MPIC again expressed interest in the mass transit system after two failed attempts.

MPIC in 2011 offered to buy out Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines in MRT 3 for $1.1 billion.

The DOTr in 2017 gave the consortium, which includes MPIC, Ayala Group and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte. Ltd. the original proponent status for the unsolicited proposal to operate and maintain the 17-kilometer line for P12.5 billion.

The consortium decided to withdraw its unsolicited proposal in 2020.

Meanwhile, MPIC said Monday it signed a strategic partnership with Malaysian firm Hartasuma Sdn Bhd. for possible development of railway and cable car systems in the country.

Pangilinan said the partnership would pave the way for diverse initiatives including developing rolling stock refurbishment projects in the Philippines and exploration of cable car systems for tourism and urban transport.

Hartasuma will be initially involved in the procurement of refurbishment of trains at Light Railway Transit Line 1 and its extension project.

Both parties are also exploring the possibility of setting up cable cars in Metro Manila and other parts of the country including Baguio, Tagaytay and Antipolo.

Pangilinan said MPIC turned aggressive with its investments in infrastructure projects as regulatory environment became favorable and supportive of the infrastructure sector.

Pangilinan said Hartasuma might also be involved in the proposed MRT 3 project.

MPIC submitted the unsolicited proposal for MRT 3 even as the DoTR expressed plans to privatize the railway project once its build-lease-transfer contract lapsed in 2025.

The DOTr is also considering packaging MRT 3 with Light Rail Transit Line 2 to make the privatization more attractive to bidders.

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