Gov’t, MPIC-Ayala sign deal for MRT-LRT single ticket system
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - April 1, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The government yesterday signed a concession agreement with Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) and Ayala Corp. for the P1.72-billion single ticketing project for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT).

MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan and Ayala chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala signed the agreement for the public-private partnership (PPP) project at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel.

The signing came amid an appeal filed by the SM Group of retail magnate Henry Sy contesting the government’s rejection of its bid.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the PPP project is expected to be completed by July and fully implemented by September next year.

Abaya said the concession agreement with the Ayala-MPIC group or AF Consortium was finally signed after months of delay due to appeals filed by losing and disqualified bidders.

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) originally intended to announce the winning bidder last December.

“We have addressed all the issues,” Abaya stressed.

He said rival companies including Ayala and MPIC as well as Globe Telecom Inc. and Smart Communications Inc. are undertaking the project to address the issues faced by Filipino commuters.

“The project is in good hands with the top conglomerate and telecom providers undertaking this project,” he added.

“Now that the bid is over and we are about to conclude this agreement, I think the hard work begins this afternoon. We have 18 months to deliver on this promise,” Pangilinan said.

For his part, Zobel said he expects future partnerships with the MPIC Group, especially for projects beneficial to Filipinos.

“We are absolutely delighted to be here with the MPIC and Smart groups. Hopefully this won’t be the last time that we will work together,” he stressed.

This developed as the SM Consortium filed its second motion for reconsideration before the DOTC after the government dismissed its first appeal filed last Feb. 3.

The group filed its second appeal yesterday morning after it was informed of the DOTC’s rejection of its first appeal last March 28.

In its second appeal, SM said the DOTC rejected its bid on purely technical considerations and in disregard of public bidding law and rules that mandate the government to choose the most advantageous bid.

It added that the DOTC’s reliance solely on net present value instead of full economic value in determining the winning bid may be counterproductive as it would have to forgo the benefits of getting the premium P1.088 billion in favor of receiving the payment over a nine- to 10-year period depending on ridership volumes.

SM argued that the ridership of 750 million by the ninth year as claimed by the AF Consortium was not fully substantiated.

It added that the condition to pay the remaining balance of P809.11 million by the ninth and 10th years is not possible.

The SM Group also cited conflict of interest or violation of Section V-04 of the Instruction to Bidders since some members of the AF Consortium were part owners of the country’s railway systems.

Abaya said the second appeal came in too late as the issues raised by the SM Group had already been addressed in the first.

The AF Consortium submitted a negative or premium bid of P1,088,103,900 for the project last Dec. 12, edging out SM Consortium with its negative bid of P1,088,000,000.

On the other hand, the Comworks-Berjaya Consortium submitted a bid of P2,050,090,300.

E-Trans Solutions Joint Venture Inc. and Megawide-Suyen-Eurolink Consortium failed to hurdle technical evaluation.

The automated collection fare system (ACFS), a tap-and-go ticketing scheme for the MRT and LRT rail systems, is envisioned to improve passenger comfort and convenience by cutting queuing time and allowing seamless transfers from one rail line to another.

The AF Consortium said it would be able to promote the use of the smart card-based technology to other transport modes such as buses, as well as to retail outlets such as mall and convenience stores, among others.


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