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IRC ready for $3.7B Makati rail project

IRC Properties Inc. said they are now ready to participate and face the Swiss challenge for its proposed $3.7-billion project to construct an intracity rail transport system in Makati after receiving approval from the local government.

IRC said in its disclosure the Makati government has declared IRC as “eligible to participate as the original proponent in the unsolicited proposal and competitive/Swiss challenge process.”

Last month IRC was granted original proponent status for the project seen as a crucial solution for the mass-transport needs of Makati City and nearby areas.

IRC said it already signed a joint certification with the city of Makati for the project.

Under the rules of the Duterte administration for the unsolicited public-private partnership projects, a firm can submit a proposal on almost any project needed by the public. It will have to secure an original proponent status from a concerned agency, after which the project worth P2.5 billion and above will have to undergo review of the Investment Coordination Committee or the National Economic and Development Authority Board, chaired by the President.

It will then undergo a Swiss challenge, which allows another party to bid either to match or make a better bid for the project.

Under its proposal, the IRC-led consortium will construct an 11-kilometer intracity mass-transport system with up to 10 stations that will connect key points in Makati’s two districts, with no cash-out from the city government.

The company’s proposal is aligned with the national government’s aggressive infrastructure program, as well as Makati’s goal to be a digital city.

The proposed transport system will complement the mass-transport projects of the national government as it would be interconnected to the MRT, the proposed Metro Manila Mega Subway and the Pasig River ferry.

With the project on hand, the IRC is pivoting to become an infrastructure and mass-transport system company. Its board recently approved the change of name of IRC to Philippine Infradev Holdings Inc.

IRC said Philippine Infradev will be the parent firm and be a holding company to engage in infrastructure and real-estate development. It also recently applied to increase its authorized capital to P19.5 billion from P1.5 billion as it undertakes the project.

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