METRO Pacific Investments Corp. sees progress in its plan to buy Metro Rail Transit Corporation from the government, MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said.
“When we say progress, it means there are discussions,” Pangilinan told reporters in Quezon City on Tuesday on the sidelines of the launch of a digital tollways program for expressways in Luzon.
Pangilinan said that MPIC was in talks with the Department of Transportation to pursue its buyout plan for MRT-3.
Earlier, undersecretary for rails Cesar Chavez said that he wanted MRT-3 to be privatized then placed under the management of the Light Rail Transit Authority, operator of the LRT-2.
Pangilinan said MPIC had not decided on a specific amount of investment for MRT-3 yet.
“There are no hard estimates because it’s rather complicated,” he said.
Light Rail Manila Corporation president and chief executive officer Rogelio Singson has said that the problem with MRT-3 was that it is owned by the government.
“The difficulty with government is they are governed by very strict procurement laws. In the case of the private [sector], when I need a spare part, I will just buy it,” Singson said in a TV interview.
LRMC is a joint venture of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation’s Metro Pacific Light Rail Corporation (MPLRC), Ayala Corporation’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation (AC Infra), and the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure’s Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) PTE Ltd. (MIHPL).
MPIC President Joey Lim said their company could develop the MRT-3 and make it profitable like the LRT-1.
“If we can make our Light Rail Transit-1 profitable, we are certain we can make our MRT-3 just as efficient,” Lim has said.