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DOTC still not keen on MPIC's proposal to expand MRT

Posted at | Updated as of 08/26/14 7:40 PM

MANILA – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is still not keen on the proposal of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) to expand the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3).

MPIC revived on January its $300 million proposal to expand the operations of the mass transit system, but Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya said the agency has again rejected MPIC’s unsolicited proposal.

“We have already rejected that,” he said.

MPIC President and chief executive officer Jose Maria Lim previously urged the DOTC to consider the proposal, in light of the proposed P56 billion equity value buy-out of the private shareholders of Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC).

“The buyout that has been contemplated by government is in that equity value buyout. What we proposed to government is for them to allow or to consider the expansion plan proposed by MPIC and that does not invoke the equity value buyout because it works in the existing BLT agreement,” Lim said in January.

MPIC has control of 48 percent in MRTC, but Abaya said the firm has already been warned about exercising its rights.

He said that being a railway operator is valid ground for the revocation of the P1.72 billion automated fare collection system (AFCS) project awarded to the tandem of MPIC and Ayala Corp.

“They should be careful. Usec. [Jose Perpetuo] Lotilla has already warned that if they execute the option, they become an owner of a rail facility that will be a ground for disqualification of AFCS,” Abaya said.