Gov’t all set to bid out MRT 3 contract
The Aquino administration will bid out the contract to operate and maintain the EDSA Metro Rail Transit 3, according to Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.
Still, businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan said he would continue to pursue the contract to manage the MRT 3.
Pangilinan said he has not been informed of recent developments on the government’s plans for the MRT 3, which runs the stretch of the busy EDSA from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City.
Whatever these plans were, however, he said his group would continue to pursue this venture.
“I haven’t spoken with [Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II]. But even if they decide to do a bidding, we will still pursue the project,” Pangilinan told reporters on the sidelines of the Philippines-Korea Business Forum.
Purisima said the government would be bidding out the contract to operate and maintain the railway system. The parameters would be decided by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC).
“That’s already been approved for bidding,” Purisima said.
In an earlier interview, Roxas said the government was studying Metro Pacific Investments Corp.’s $300-million proposal to improve the facilities of the EDSA MRT as a viable alternative to help the government save money.
This also ran parallel with the government’s thrust to privatize major infrastructure projects.
The DoTC, however, was also considering spending for the rehabilitation and upgrade itself. This would entail an investment of P4.5 billion, to be taken from government coffers, to buy 26 new trains for the EDSA railway line.
The DoTC would be making a recommendation to President Aquino regarding the matter.
The EDSA MRT-3 has a capacity of 350,000 passengers a day, but about half a million people ride the system daily. This overcapacity has led to the frequent breakdown of trains and discomfort of passengers.—Abigail L. Ho
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