Gov't buyout of MRT-3 seen next year
MANILA, Philippines – The planned government takeover of the operations of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) may not be executed this year as legal issues with stakeholders have yet to be settled.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said the takeover may happen next year, while the funds needed for the buyout can be released anytime.
“There are legal issues that we have to settle first. Once we bought it, we can unwind the contract and give [the Department of Transportation and Communications] a free hand,” Purisima said.
He added that the government has P50 billion to acquire the whole economic interest of Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and other MRT-3 shareholders.
Land Bank and DBP hold a combined economic interest of 80 percent in MRT-3.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) was given approval by Malacañang in December 2012 to pursue the takeover to save on equity rental payments, maintenance cost, debt guaranteed payment, insurance expenses, and others being paid by the agency.
President Aquino also issued EO 126 in March 2013, directing the DOTC and the Department of Finance (DOF) to buy out MRT3 from the Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC) pursuant to a build-lease-transfer (BLT) agreement.