The Department of Transportation (DoTr) targets to address the Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC) and Ayala Corp.’s unsolicited proposal for the rehabilitation and takeover of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) by the end of the year.
“Due diligence sila ngayon. By end of the year, we will address their unsolicited proposal, after finishing maintenance and operating issues of the MRT-3… kung uusad ang unsolicited proposal nila,” Transport Secretary Arthur P. Tugade told reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 last week.
MPIC, in a consortium with the Ayala group and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte. Ltd., proposed to take over MRT-3’s operations last July 2017. Under the proposal, the consortium will be investing Php20 billion for the system’s rehabilitation and will handle its operations for a period of 30 to 32 years.
The consortium’s proposals will double the MRT-3’s current capacity to 700,000 passengers a day. The railway connecting Quezon City’s North Avenue to Pasay City’s Taft Avenue has long been running at more than 500,000 passengers a day, well beyond its capacity of 350,000.
The DoTr granted the group, which already handles the operations of Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1), original proponent status (OPS) for the project in November.
It was during this time that the DoTr also terminated its contract with Busan Universal Rail, Inc. for MRT-3’s operations. The transport department alleged that BURI failed to ensure efficient and available trains, and failed to procure proper spare parts.