Pangilinan says interested in BCDA rail project

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 21 2011 06:15 PM | Updated as of Jul 22 2011 02:23 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The group of businessman Manuel Pangilinan is interested to participate in a new railway project that will connect Metro Manila's business districts, the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) said.

BCDA chairman Felecito Payumo said the agency is looking at building an elevated monorail that will have stations in the Villamor airbase, Fort Bonifacio, and the cities of Makati and Pasay. He said the rail may also connect to Manila's other railway systems -- the Metro Rail Transit 3, Light Rail Transit 1, and the Philippine National Railway.

"The project supports the President's infrastructure developments," said Payumo.

Pangilinan said his group wants to partner with BCDA again after recently closing a deal on the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) concession.

"Yes," he said, when asked if they were interested in BCDA's proposed rail project. "As Mr. Payumo said earlier, the city of Sydney is about two to three million commuters. It's a monorail project so that's something the BCDA wants to replicate in parts of Metro Manila."

Payumo, meanwhile, said that some foreign firms have also expressed their interests.

"We will bid it out. It will have to be a PPP (Public-Private Partnership). There are already interested foreign proponents for the foreign portion. The technology, mechanical, electrical and carriage will probably be foreign and the rest will be local proponents and LGUs, and of course, BCDA," he said.

A feasibility study was already being prepared, and results would be out in the next five months, he added.

The BCDA chief said he will consult with the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Metro Manila Development Authority so the project won't overlap with other similar projects.

BCDA eyes P64-B from SCTEx

In a related development, the BCDA said it was eyeing to generate P64 billion revenues during the 33-year SCTEx concession.

"This already covers the project cost plus some hefty revenue for the BCDA," said BCDA president Arnel Paciano Casanova.

BCDA signed an agreement with Pangilinan-led Manila North Tollways Corp. for the 33-year operation and management of the 94-kilometer SCTEx. Under the deal, MNTC agreed to provide BCDA sufficient funds to cover the loan used to finance the expressway through revenue sharing and agreed-on advances during shortfalls.