• SMC cites unviable investment returns as reason for pulling out LRT-1 bid

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    A TOP official of SMC Infra Resources Inc., one of two potential bidders that opted out of the bidding for the P65-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT 1) Cavite Extension project on Thursday, said the return on investment would take more than 20 years to be realized.

    “Last minute kinucompute-compute, wala nang mangyayari sa mga presyo, wala silang makitang upside, paulit-ulit yung numbers [We were still computing at the last minute, with no change in prices they could not see any upside, the same numbers kept coming back],” Ramon Ang, president and chief operating officer of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) told reporters on Thursday.

    “Paulit-ulit tinitignan lahat ng klaseng paaran, di viable. Yung capital mo baka bumalik after 25 years [They reviewed it repeatedly, tried all methods, not viable. The return on your capital will take maybe 25 years to materialize],” he added.

    On Thursday, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said the Light Rail Manila Consortium led by Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) was the lone bidder that submitted on Wednesday documents for the LRT 1 Cavite Extension project.

    SMC Infra Resources and DMCI Holdings Inc. expressed regret that they were not able to participate in the bidding, Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), said during the opening of the bid documents on Wednesday.

    With the Light Rail Manila Consortium formally submitting its bid and the pertinent documents, the bidding may proceed even if the consortium is the only interested party in the train project, Lotilla added.

    The LRT 1 Cavite Extension, or the South Extension Project, the country’s biggest public-private partnership project, has already been approved by the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Board.

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