Government takeover of MRT eyed
MANILA, Philippines–An official of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) admitted to lawmakers that the government would flip and rebid the Edsa Metro Rail Transit (MRT) after buying out the current private owners of Metro Manila’s decaying transport system.
Quezon City Rep. and Metro Manila committee chair Winston Castelo said that DOTC Undersecretary Rene Limcaoco was unequivocal when he said that the government’s game plan was to buy out the current private partner, Metro Global Holdings Corp., for P54 billion.
DOTC Undersecretary Edwin Lopez said a full government takeover of the Edsa MRT would save the government P36 billion a year in reduced payments to the private shareholders that constructed the railway system under a build-lease-transfer system two decades ago.
But MRT Holdings president Robert John Sobrepeña said the government would need as much as P90 billion to buy out the private partners because the P54 billion budget of the government would only cover the holdings of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and Land Bank of the Philippines.–Gil Cabacungan
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