MANILA -- Japan's Sumitomo Corp is joining the Pangilinan-Ayala consortium that operates the Philippine capital's oldest elevated rail, LRT-1, as a strategic stakeholder, one of the Filipino partners said Friday.
Sumitomo acquired a 34.9-percent stake in Metro Pacific Investment Corp's unit that has a stake in Light Rail Manila Corp, Pangilinan-led MPIC told the stock exchange.
Light Rail Manila, a consortium of MPIC, Ayala Corp and Macquarie
Investments Holdings, has a 32-year concession from Sept. 12, 2015 to maintain and operate the LRT-1. It ferries on average half a million riders daily.
"This investment by Sumitomo is a welcome illustration in their belief in the future of this project. We are all eager to resume operations of LRT-1 when the current extended quarantine is released," MPIC Chairman Manuel Pangilinan said.
Metro Manila will shift to a general community quarantine on Monday after nearly 80 days on lockdown. Under the GCQ, the LRT-1, LRT-2 and MRT-3 can resume with strict physical distancing measures.
An extension project that will bring the LRT-1's southern tip to Cavite from Baclaran is underway.
Sumitomo is helping the Philippine government rehabilitate the capital's busiest train line, the MRT-3.