Ayala group eyes stake in monorail project
Conglomerate Ayala Corp. has proposed to team up with tycoon Andrew Tan-led Alliance Global Group Inc. on the latter’s monorail project, aiming to extend the “Skytrain” alignment to the Makati central business district (CBD) or even to the Light Railway Transit 1 (LRT 1).
AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. president and chief executive officer Rene Almendras told the Inquirer that he had entered into discussions with Kevin Tan, head of AGI’s infrastructure arm Infracorp Development Inc., to possibly lengthen the Skytrain project to traverse the Makati CBD.
Infracorp submitted late last year an unsolicited proposal to build a two-kilometer monorail from Uptown Bonifacio, Megaworld Corp.’s township project, to the MRT Guadalupe Station, seeking to boost connectivity for commuters amid worsening traffic conditions in the metropolis.
The Skytrain project, which will use the automated cable-propelled monorail technology at no cost to the government, seeks to reduce travel time from BGC to MRT Guadalupe to only five minutes.
“We are in discussions,” Almendras said when asked about the conglomerate’s proposal to extend Skytrain.
Asked whether Ayala would share in the additional cost if the Skytrain project were to be extended beyond the two kilometers originally envisioned by Infracorp, Almendras said this would be part of the discussions.
“If they’re building, they might as well go through Makati. Remember, we have 100,000 people who move from BGC to Makati every day,” Almendras said.
Ayala’s proposal is for Skytrain to be extended from Guadalupe to the Makati central business district, passing through Circuit Makati and possibly even stretching out to LRT 1 that runs the stretch of Taft Avenue.
“Everyone is talking to solve problems,” Almendras said. “The nice part is instead of us doing things on our own, let’s collaborate to make it better.”
AGI earlier announced that the “Skytrain” proposal had been submitted to the government by Infracorp in October. For AGI, this diversification into infrastructure-building is seen aligned with the Duterte administration’s promise to usher in a “golden age of infrastructure” in the country.
If and when approved, the Skytrain monorail project will take three years to construct. It is also proposed to be interconnected with the government’s planned subway system project passing through Fort Bonifacio.
The next step for AGI’s Infracorp is to await certification from the government for an original proponent status, after which the project will be subjected to a Swiss challenge, which means other bidders will be invited to submit alternative offers, but the original proponent has the right to match the best rival package.
Ayala and AGI are among seven of the country’s biggest conglomerates that created a superconsortium to support an unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate, operate and maintain the outdated and highly congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), currently the main international gateway to Metro Manila.
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