Executive Order 126. This is what Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya believes to be their ace as they push through the government's takeover of the Metro Rail Transit.
Issued by President Benigno Aquino III in February 2013 the Executive Order (EO) 126 or the "Repealing Executive Order No. 855 (S.2010) and Authorizing the Implementation of the Equity Value Buyout of the Metro Rail Transit Corporation and Prescribing Guidelines Therefor" states that the Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC) issued Equity Value Buyout (EVBO) Notices to DOTC in pursuant of the Build-Lease-Transfer Agreement (BLT Agreement) wherein the government will be required to purchase MRTC’s right, title and interest in MRT Line 3.
The government has actually allotted Php 56 Billion for the EVBO following Executive Order 126. However private shareholders of the MRTC insisted that the value falls short from its total Equity Value (EV), and pointed out that the Php 56 billion the government has allotted only accounts for the bonds controlled by the two state-run banks: the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank).
Thus, the government can only complete the buyout if and only if they are able to settle the bonds which costs at around Php 53 Billion. As mentioned by Senator Sergio Osmeña III at the Senate hearing on the proposed 2015 budget of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) on Thursday, November 20, if they really want for the buyout to push through, the government needs to settle at least Php 100 Billion and not the Php 56 Billion which they have alloted.
In the first place, why is the government such eager to take full control of the MRT Line 3 when they have not even consulted with Metro Rail Transit Holdings formally to talk about the buyout.
And since the government could not afford the buyout, they are interested and looking at the option of using taxpayers' money to complete the buyout which I find really unfair. Why would you use our money to gain full control of the operations and maintenance of the train when you could have just proceed to the bidding of it to the private sector.
But if you look at the bright side, if indeed the buyout becomes successful and hopefully, there will be no issue regarding the operations and maintenance, then we could be looking at a better service with lower ticket price. This, however seems to be too good to be true.
Up to the this moment, there's a lot of questions and concerns that DOTC and the government needs to address. As for now, we can do nothing but just wonder. Why?
- Justin -