Conglomerate still keen on MRT takeover

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  • Despite delays, Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC) is still keen on pursuing its P20-billion unsolicited proposal to take over the operation and maintenance of Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) , according to its chairman Manuel Pangilinan.

    But MPIC cannot proceed until an ongoing arbitration case in Singapore is resolved.

    In 2009, Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRT) filed an arbitration case in Singapore against the Philippine government over late payment of equity rentals.

    Two years ago, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) awarded original proponent status to the joint venture of MPIC and Ayala Corp. for the rehabilitation, operation and maintenance of MRT3 for a concession period of 30 years.

    Batan refused to give details on the timeline pending the resolution of arbitration.

    MPIC has increased the project cost to around P20 billion from P12.5 billion to cover the buyout of government and private sector stakeholder in the rail system .

    The government through Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines holds an 80 percent economic interest in MRT 3 , while the balance is held by creditors of MRTC.

    DOTr recently turned over the rehabilitation and maintenance contract of MRT-3 to group of Sumitomo Corp, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and its subsidiary, TES Philippines for a period if 43 months. (Malaya)

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