DOTC: AFCS project to push through despite SM appeal
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said the consortium of Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has complied with its requirements for the P1.72 billion single ticketing system for the MRT and LRT.
DOTC spokesperson Michael Sagcal said there is no "impediment" preventing the department from issuing the notice of award to the AF Consortium.
"We've awarded the project, and there is no impediment preventing us from continuing with the next steps of the project. We would like the public to enjoy the modern ticketing system as soon as possible," Sagcal said.
"Without a court order or any issuance preventing DOTC from proceeding, DOTC will continue with the process."
The SM group said it will appeal the decision of the DOTC awarding the automatic fare collection system (AFCS) contract to the AF Consortium.
Earlier, SM Prime president Hans Sy said their group submitted the "superior" bid since it was an "an unconditional offer to pay the government the full bid amount of P1.008 billion upfront."
However, Sagcal said the bid submitted by the AF Consortium complied with the DOTC's requirements.
"An 'unconditional' bid simply means that the bidder accepts all terms of the bid, which AF did," Sagcal said.
Sagcal explained that the AF consortium's proposal involved offering an availability payment of P279 million and P800 million transaction fee.
"The bid provided a schedule of the different options on how the TF will be paid (eg. x amount for 300-350 million passengers, y amount for 350 to 400 million). AF chose to compute their bid based on the 750 million (passengers). I guess SM chose a different structure. In any case, AF's structure met our requirements," he said.
Sy had earlier questioned that particular provision of the AF Cosortium's bid.
“Under the terms of the AF Consortium bid, 72% of the total amount will only be paid to the government in 2024 or 2025, and only if the conditional volume is met. Otherwise, the government will not be able to collect anything at all,” Sy said.
The AF Consortium submitted a bid of P1,088,103,900 for the AFCS project, besting the SM Consortium's bid of P1,088,000,000.
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.