Sy explains why Ayala-MPIC shouldn't get AFCS project

from a report by Lois Calderon, ANC

Posted at Jan 28 2014 04:27 PM | Updated as of Jan 29 2014 12:46 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The SM group asserted the nearly P2 billion single ticketing contract for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) should not be awarded to the Metro Pacific and Ayala Corp. consortium.

The government has deferred last week's awarding of the project after losing bidders raised issues about the auction.

The AF Consortium of the Metro Pacific and Ayala groups submitted a bid of P1,088,103,900 for the Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) project. The SM Consortium submitted the second-best offer with P1,088,000,000.

"The argument is, not to look at present value only but to look into all terms and conditions. We believe we're more superior because our bid has no condition at all. We don't set conditions that ridership should reach so many hundreds of millions. Ours is whether it reached one million or even no ridership, we pay upfront," SM Prime president Hans Sy said at the sidelines of the opening of the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Ortigas.

The DOTC earlier said it would address the questions raised by the SM group regarding the AFCS project.

“We will not make an award unless we have addressed all motions for reconsideration,” said Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

The MRT-LRT single ticket is envisioned to be like Hong Kong’s Octopus Card, which serves as a debit card, aside from being a stored-value train ticket. The single ticket could also be used for other modes of transportation such as buses, paying toll, electronic banking, and even shopping.

The AFCS project would bring important benefits to the more than one million daily passengers using the light rail lines ensuring seamless interconnection for travelers and removing the current inconvenience of the need to buy separate tickets for separate lines.