PANGILINAN-LED Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) is considering increasing its proposed takeover bid to rehabilitate and operate Metro Rail Transit-3 to P20 billion from an earlier amount of P12 billion.
“The required amount of investment is larger,” MPIC President and Chief Executive Officer Jose Maria Lim told reporters on Friday, noting that their original proposed investment was only P12 billion.
The amount will be used for the rehabilitation of the whole train system without increasing the fare for at least two years, as well as to operate and maintain it.
Asked whether the new budget for the proposed takeover will reach P20 billion, Lim said, “Including the equity requirement, yes.”
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade announced in September that the department has granted original proponent status to MPIC for the rehabilitation, maintenance and operation of MRT-3 after the company presented its proposal to Tugade and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd.
“NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) will review the terms of our proposal… then it will be subject to a Swiss challenge,” Lim said.
Meanwhile, MRT-3 General Manager Rudy Garcia said that MRT-3 is currently forming a maintenance transition team, as it plans to terminate its contract with maintenance service provider Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI) for incompetence.
Transportation Undersecretary fr Rails Cesar Chavez had earlier blamed BURI for the series of technical glitches encountered by the train system and had threatened the Korean company that the their contract would be terminated.
“After the declaration that it is terminated, we will immediately procure the next maintenance provider,” Chavez earlier said in an aired interview.
“Based on our initial study, we need to procure the maintenance provider until 2025, to make [the term of service]longer. It is necessary to make it clear to the public the technical and financial capabilities [of the maintenance provider],” according to Chavez.