LRMC sues gov’t for P 2.67B due to ‘fare inaction’
Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC) is suing the government for P2.67 billion to compensate for losses incurred due to alleged failure to adjust rates since 2016 in violation of its concession agreement with the Department of Transportation and Light Rail Transit Authority. The private operator of Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 said in a recent disclosure that it had asked the International Chamber of Commerce to mediate on the dispute, as provided in their agreement.
The monetary claims, which exclude interest, were based on its estimates as of March 31.
The consortium said the implementation of fare hikes was “long overdue,” citing its three attempts in 2016, 2018 and 2020. If granted, fares will go up by as much as 36 percent, Juan Alfonso, president and CEO of LRMC, said in a recent briefing.
Fares currently range from P15 to P30.
Manuel V. Pangilinan, chair of Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC), had explained that the fare increase would help the company recoup investments in LRT-1 enhancements and the extension of the railway to Cavite.
Pangilinan also said that MPIC would consider increasing its stake in LRT-1 if the next government would address the matter. This, after Ayala Corp. expressed its intent to sell its LRT-1 shares as the conglomerate unloads some of its assets and noncore businesses.
MPIC and Ayala jointly own LRMC, with Sumitomo Corp. and Macquarie Group as minority shareholders. In 2014, the consortium was awarded the 32-year concession to operate and maintain the 20.7-kilometer elevated railway. INQ
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