By Riza Lozada
Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan-led conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has increased its investment on its planned takeover and rehabilitation of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) to P20 billion from P12 billion initially.
The amount for the MRT-3’s rehabilitation, operations and maintenance would include the firm’s equity investment.
“The details of the proposal have changed. The required amount of investment is larger,” MPIC president and chief executive officer Jose Ma. Lim said.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said MPIC has been granted the original proponent status for MRT’s rehabilitation, operations and maintenance.
The firm’s proposal has been submitted to the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) and will undergo Swiss Challenge once it is approved.
The Swiss Challenge procurement mode provides an opportunity for companies to make competing offers while giving the original proponent to match them.
The consortium of MPIC and Ayala Corp. has originally allocated P12 billion to rehabilitate the train systems of the MRT and take over its operations for a period of 32 years.
It likewise plans to buy out the government’s stake in the railway system held by the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines as well as other shareholders.
Should it be granted original proponent status and hurdle the Swiss challenge, the rehabilitation, operations and maintenance would be pursued through a separate special purpose vehicle similar to the Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC).
LRMC, which operates the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) and is responsible for the extension of the train system all the way to Cavite, is composed of MPIC’s Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp., Ayala Corp.’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) PTE Ltd.