Despite rising maintenance costs, Tansportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said MRT-3’s assets will not be sold– but only because finding buyers from the private sector is unlikely.
Bautista, formerly the president of Kapitan Lucio Tan’s Philippine Airlines, knew that the MRT-3 is unlikely to be a cash cow for any corporation. As a compromise, the Department of Transportation will put only its operation and maintenance up for bidding.
“We’re not really looking at selling the whole assets of MRT-3 because it will not be attractive for the private sector to invest a huge amount of money for them to own the assets of MRT-3,” he told One News’ “The Chiefs, noting that it’s it’s unlikely for any private firm to have enough time to recover their investments and make a profit out of the train service.
“Talaga pong nalulugi ang MRT-3 ngayon because the maintenance cost is quite high and even if the private sector will operate it and assume the other operating expenses like fixed expenses considering that you have to depreciate the asset, it will be very difficult for them to make MRT-3 profitable kaya po alam nyo po sa buong mundo, ang mga train system ay talagang sinusuportahan ng gobyerno,” he added.
Bautista said the government wants an LRT-1 model for the MRT-3, with the former currently operated by Light Rail Manila Corp., a joint venture of the MVP and Ayala Group of companies.