MVP, Ang may jointly bid for MRT-3

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
MVP, Ang may jointly bid for MRT-3
oth MPIC and SMC submitted unsolicited proposals to manage the railway, but the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is rejecting them to gather fresh offers for the project.
The STAR / Michael Varcas, File

MANILA, Philippines — Another infrastructure tie-up between tycoons Manuel V. Pangilinan and Ramon Ang could be in the works as Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) will engage San Miguel Corp. (SMC) in bidding for the privatization of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3).

Pangilinan, who chairs MPIC, told reporters the company will talk to SMC to know its way forward with regard to its bid to operate and maintain MRT-3.

Both MPIC and SMC submitted unsolicited proposals to manage the railway, but the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is rejecting them to gather fresh offers for the project.

With this, MPIC eyes to participate in the solicited bidding for the operations and maintenance of MRT-3. This time, Pangilinan said, MPIC is open to the possibility of combining its proposal with that of SMC.

“We probably would participate in that (and) it depends eventually on the terms of reference for the bid that the government will draft. In principle, because we submitted an unsolicited proposal and the government has decided to bid it out, we will likely participate depending on the terms,” Pangilinan said.

“I think it might be good for us to reach out to SMC and see what we can do. Submit it as a joint bid, right? There are ongoing discussions in other areas with them,” he added.

Pangilinan and Ang shook the investment community last year when they signed a P72-billion agreement to construct the Cavite-Batangas Expressway (CBEX) and the Nasugbu-Bauan Expressway (NBEX).

The deal marked the first time Pangilinan and Ang will work on a project as grand as CBEX and NBEX, which will run for a combined 88 kilometers.

Apart from this, Ang made a personal investment in MPIC following its delisting from the main index of the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Ang was also voted into the board of MPIC, igniting talks that the company through the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. will merge its toll road business with SMC down the line.

In an earlier interview with reporters, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista confirmed that the DOTr is turning down the unsolicited proposals filed by MPIC and SMC to operate and maintain the MRT-3.

Bautista has shown an inclination for solicited bidding in privatizing mobility assets, saying it gives the government the authority to dictate the terms.

The DOTr is looking for private firms interested in running the rail line with the looming expiry in 2025 of the contract with Sobrepeña-led Metro Rail Transit Corp.

At present, MPIC controls a majority stake in the operator of the Light Rail Transit Line 1, while SMC is building the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 that will run from Quezon City to Bulacan.

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