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Business

New assets flip LRTA finances to P2 billion surplus

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
New assets flip LRTA finances to P2 billion surplus
LRTA administrator Hernando Cabrera told The STAR the agency managed to post a surplus between January and March on the addition of new assets from both Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2.
Light Rail Transit Authority

MANILA, Philippines —  The Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) is back in the black in the first quarter as it received non-cash gains from the near-completion of one of its big-ticket projects.

LRTA administrator Hernando Cabrera told The STAR the agency managed to post a surplus between January and March on the addition of new assets from both Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2.

Based on its financial report, LRTA flipped its financial position to a surplus of P2 billion in the first quarter, from a deficit of P1.08 billion a year ago.

The LRTA received assistance and subsidies worth P3.28 billion during the period. Cabrera said these gains can be attributed to fresh assets obtained by the agency, especially with the first section of the LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project close to completion.

“They are mostly non-cash. They refer to the assets of the LRT-2 East Extension Project and the LRT-1 South Extension Project,” Cabrera said.

Likewise, the LRTA grew its revenue by 24 percent to P467.46 million in the first quarter, from P377.8 million a year ago, backed by the recent hike in train fares in LRT-2.

LRTA also kept its expenditure hike to just 12 percent or P1.77 billion in an effort to nurse its financial health.

LRTA regulates LRT-1, which is being managed by the Light Rail Manila Corp., while the agency acts as operator for the LRT-2.

Meanwhile, Cabrera said the LRTA has yet to receive a budget allocation from the government for its plan to expand LRT-2. In particular, LRTA is waiting for the Department of Budget and Management to approve the multi-year contracting authority (MYCA) for the project.

The LRT-2 West Extension Project, costing P10.12 billion, will extend the railway by three stops to the west of the Recto Station. If pursued, LRT-2 will put up stations in Tutuban, Divisoria and Pier 4 to serve the commuting demands on the western side of Metro Manila.

LRTA needs an MYCA from the government to ensure that the project will be given funds in the national budget every year.

Internally, LRTA is trying to raise funds from fare collection and non-rail businesses, but it is struggling to make a profit given how capital-intensive it is to operate and maintain a railway.

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