Pangilinan-Led Metro Pacific Looking to Take Over MRT-3 Ops, Set Up Cable Car Systems
Manny V. Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MVIC) is pushing to broaden its portfolio in the railway and transport sectors via a new collaboration with a foreign rail services company and a pitch to take over the operation and maintenance of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3).
The strategic partnership with Malaysian firm Hartasuma will allow MPIC to explore the possibility of setting up cable car systems for tourism and transport, the company said in a statement on September 4. The establishment of cable car systems in Baguio–La Union, Boracay-Caticlan, and within Metro Manila have been proposed before. MPIC and Hartasuma are reportedly eyeing Tagaytay, Antipolo, and Baguio for potential routes.
The two companies will also work together to refurbish the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1). Light Rail Manila Corporation, which operates and develops the railway, is a joint venture between MPIC and Ayala Corporation. The LRT-1 currently has 20 stations, but the LRT-1 Cavite Extension will expand this to 28 stations and extend the line from Baclaran to Bacoor, Cavite.
“We look forward to learning from the expertise of Hartasuma’s over 28 years in the rail engineering and transport industries, and to applying these lessons to our operations in the Philippines,” Pangilinan, chairman, president, and CEO of MPIC, said. “ There is a lot for us to share. Together, we intend to explore innovations that can help us build the transport infrastructure of the future.”
Pangilinan also told media on September 4 that together with Sumitomo Corporation, it has made an unsolicited proposal to upgrade the MRT-3 and take over its operations. A disclosure made by the company to the Philippine Stock Exchange on September 6 reads: “We also confirm that MPIC and Sumitomo Corporation submitted an unsolicited proposal for the operation and maintenance of Metro Rail Transit 3. This will be subject to discussions with the Department of Transportation.”
In November last year, the DOTr confirmed it was looking into partnerships with private companies for the MRT-3’s operation and maintenance. “Privatizing MRT-3’s operations and maintenance is expected not only to enhance efficiency and safety but also reduce operational cost to be able to maintain affordable fares,” the agency said in its statement.
From: Top Gear PH