Ex-DPWH head Singson returns to private sector as head of LRT-1 operator
Former Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson has returned to the private sector, now taking on the task of improving the busy Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 in Metro Manila.
Singson confirmed in a text message Thursday he is now the CEO of Light Rail Manila Corp., a company formed by Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp.
Light Rail Manila in 2014 won the P65-billion public-private partnership (PPP) contract that involved the operations and maintenance of the LRT-1, which runs from Baclaran in Pasay to Roosevelt in Quezon City, as well as the construction of an 11.7-kilometer extension line to Bacoor, Cavite.
Singson assumed the role at Light Rail Manila last month, taking the place of Jesus Francisco.
Singson, who served as Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) head under the Aquino administration from 2010 to 2016, was the previous president of Maynilad Water Services Inc., a unit of Metro Pacific.
The DPWH is now led by Mark Villar.
Singson was credited with wide reforms at the DPWH, helping reduce bureaucratic red tape, getting crucial projects off the ground and cutting corruption. President Aquino, known for publicly scolding officials of agencies that failed to perform, last year hailed the DPWH as a “model” agency for good governance.
Singson now takes on the role of improving services at the LRT-1, which opened in the 1980s and is considered Southeast Asia’s oldest metro rail system.
Improving the line, which serves over 400,000 passengers daily, also comes as Light Rail Manila is locked in a P1.7-billion compensation dispute with the Transportation Department.
Light Rail Manila said the train line’s condition was worse off than what was agreed upon when it finally won the PPP contract.
Meanwhile, the Cavite extension would help increase the capacity of LRT-1 from 500,000 to 800,000 passengers daily and benefit more than four million residents in the southern part of Metro Manila and Cavite. The firm said the Cavite extension phase would be finished beyond 2020.
Light Rail Manila formally assumed operations of the LRT-1 in September 2015. Under Francisco’s tenure as CEO, the company was able to rehabilitate old trains, bringing to 92 from 77 the number of operating light rail vehicles.
The firm said about P10 billion would be needed to fully rehabilitate the existing LRT-1 in two years.
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