MANILA, Philippines - Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has joined over 20 other companies seeking to bid for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the 2 railway systems in Metro Manila.
"Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp., a subsidiary of MPIC, has filed an expression of interest in connection with the interim contract for the operation and maintenance of LRT 1 and MRT 3 systems," it told the stock exchange in a disclosure.
The deadline for the submission of letters of interest is today. The government said it would not extend this.
The government is bidding out up to 5-year contracts for LRT 1 and MRT 3 that will cost P7.7 billion and P6.3 billion, respectively.
Aside from MPIC, other firms that have expressed interest in the railways include Ayala Corp., a unit of San Miguel Holdings Corp., Mitsubihi Corp. and DM Consunji.
MPIC, which has claimed control of the MRT 3 operator, reiterated it was not objecting to the government auction because it covers only the temporary O&M of LRT 1 and MRT 3.
The company said the proposal it earlier gave the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) was "comprehensive" and included long-term O&M, expansion, rehabilitation and intergration of LRT and MRT.
"MPIC has not withdrawn its proposal... Neither has MPIC received any written advice from the DOTC of any action by the government on our proposal," it said.
On MRT alone, MPIC said it "maintains its position that the private shareholders of MRT Corp. (MRTC) have the legal right to assert MRTC's rights over the maintenance of MRT as well as the expansion rights over MRT, both contained in the existing BLT (build-lease-transfer) agreement."
MPIC bought a 29% stake in MRTC from Sobrepeña-led Fil-Estate group last November. It also said it entered into agreements with other MRT shareholders to raise its interest to 48%.