The Department of Transportation (DoTR) debunked reports on the supposed privatization of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3).
The DOTr explained that it is only looking at the possibility of privatizing the railway system’s operations and maintenance.
“In response to news reports alleging that MRT-3 is up for sale, the Department of Transportation clarifies it is considering the possibility of turning over the Operations & Maintenance (O&M) of MRT-3 to qualified private sector operators towards improving its operational efficiency,” the DOTr said via a statement.
The DOTr and the Metro Rail Transit Corporation Corp. signed a build-lease-transfer agreement in 1997 for the construction of the MRT-3 along EDSA. Under the agreement, the transportation department will be in charge of fare collection, while the transit corporation will handle the maintenance of trains.
The said agreement will end in 2025.
The DOTr added that privatizing the operations and maintenance of MRT-3 will lessen operational cost to sustain affordable fares.
“We are looking at partnering with private rail operators for DOTr MRT-3’s operations and maintenance under the same scheme with LRT 1 with the rail lines assets remaining government-owned,” said DOTr chief Jaime Bautista.
— Ronald Espartinez