MRT-3 takeover still on the table – MPIC
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - May 16, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said his group remains interested in pushing through with plans to takeover the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) despite the return of Japanese contractors for the train system’s rehabilitation and maintenance.

“Yes, our proposal is still there with the government. We will wait for their direction,” Pangilinan said.

“I’m glad Transportation Secretary Tugade, at least according to the papers, mandated Sumitomo to start rehab work for MRT-3. That’s much needed. It’s a big, big step,” he said.

MPIC has an existing unsolicited offer to rehabilitate, operate, and maintain the MRT-3 for over 30 years. The proposal has been granted an original proponent status by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Early this month, however, the DOTr officially handed the overall rehabilitation and maintenance works of the MRT-3 to the group of Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries-TES Philippines. 

The rehabilitation works are slated for completion within the first 24 months of the 43-month rehabilitation and maintenance contract signed on Dec. 28, 2018.

On the government’s part, Transportation Undersecretary Timothy John Batan has confirmed that MPIC’s unsolicited proposal for the takeover of the MRT-3 remains alive and that there is an ongoing review of the group’s offer.

“The proposal remains with the DOTr. It will still go up to NEDA and there are just issues involving timing and terms,” Batan said in an interview early this month.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade told reporters in October last year that he intends to make the project a solicited proposal, wherein the contract would be auctioned amid an existing unsolicited proposal from MPIC.

In another interview last December, Tugade said the DOTr is again looking at MPIC’s unsolicited offer, while also considering the solicited route.

The transport chief said he wants a package that would be “lock, stock and barrel.”

MRT-3, which covers North Ave. station in Quezon City until Taft station in Pasay City, started operating in 2000 and the first round of general overhaul was completed by Sumitomo in 2008.

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