Gov't takeover of MRT-3 advancing "very well" - DOTC

Posted at 11/22/2012 4:24 PM | Updated as of 11/22/2012 4:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Government's plan to take full control of the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) by buying out private sector's stake is progressing "very well," the DOTC said on Thursday.

"The position of the government to buy out private interest in MRT-3 is proceeding very well and is already with the Office of the President," Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said during the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines, Inc.'s (EJAP) Economic Forum 2012.

The plan to buy out private sector stake in MRT-3 was bared by Abaya last month, noting after the government takes full control of the system, an operation and maintenance (O&M) contract will be bid out under the Aquino administration's public private partnership program.

The Finance department is currently handling the buy-out plan, Abaya said.

The government, through the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines, already owns 80% of MRT-3's economic interests. However, the private sector, despite holding the remaining 20% of economic interests, has more voting rights than the government.

Despite the plan to take full control of the MRT-3, the DOTC is still reviewing proposals from Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) and diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp., Abaya said.

MPIC and SMC have submitted proposals for the expansion of the MRT-3. Both include buying new vehicles to increase the passenger capacity of the system.