DOTC to push through with plan to increase MRT3 fare

October 22, 2012 10:00 pm 

By Jelly Musico

MANILA, Oct. 22 – A plan of former Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas to increase the fare of the Metro Rail Transit 3 will be pushed through next year.

This was confirmed Monday in a press conference by new DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya who told the media a month ago he will personally study the proposal to increase the MRT3 fare as proposed by his predecessor.

Abaya said the MRT3 fare will be increased by P10 to lessen the financial burden of the government in covering the roughly P55 subsidy per passenger.

The DOTC chief said the proposed new P25 MRT fare increase would still be much lower compared to the P45 bus far from Taft Avenue-MRT station to North EDSA-MRT station.

Some P75 billion has already been spent by the government in subsidizing the MRT fare for the last 10 years.

Abaya made the announcement on the fare increase even as he also informed the media about the DOTC’s plan to take full control the MRT3.

"We want to buy everything and make it fully government-owned," Abaya said.

At present, the state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines already control 80 percent of the MRT Corporation while private sector owns 20 percent of economic interest.

Despite owning much lower share of the MRTC, the private sector has more voting rights as compared to the government.

"Despite government having 80 percent economic or beneficial interest in MRT-3, there is an irregularity because the decision making policy was left with the private sector,” Abaya noticed.

"We want to make everything now in the hands of the government meaning all decisions will emanate from policies of government rather than dealing with private interests," the DOTC head added.

He said the plan to take full control of the MRT3 has already been presented to President Benigno Aquino III.

After taking full control of the MRT3, Abaya said the DOTC will then work on possible partnership with the private sectors for the operation and maintenance of the MRT3 which serves nearly 600,000 passengers every day.

Last Friday, the DOTC awarded to PH Trams-CB&T joint venture a six-month contract to maintain the Metro Rail Transit 3.

The contract will replace the maintenance agreement between MRT Corp. and Sumitomo that expired also last Friday.

Abaya said the PH Trams-CB&T JV would serve as interim maintenance provider of MRT3 while the procurement process of regular maintenance provider is being undertaken.

Abaya assured that the interim maintenance contract to PH Trams CB&T JV adhered with the government’s good governance practice in conducting a transparent procurement process in searching for the most qualified maintenance provider that meets the requirements. (PNA)



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