Politics

Senate public services panel chair supports MRT-3 privatization 

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PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

THE CHAIR of the Senate Public Services Committee supports the planned privatization of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), saying a transfer of management from the government will improve efficiency.  

“I agree that the MRT operations should be privatized,” Senator Mary Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares said in a statement on Thursday, citing privately run Japan train systems whose operations remain “seamless.” 

Similarly, she said the Light Rail Transit Line 1, which is also privately run, has been more efficiently operated than the MRT.  

At the same time, Ms. Poe-Llamanzares called for a transparent privatization process that will be protected from political interests.   

“The concession should be transparent and scrutinized properly,” she said. “Fairly awarded through public bidding, to a competent and financially viable company, with a track record of providing efficient service and knowledge in train and public transport operations.”  

The Department of Transportation on Tuesday vowed to be transparent in the planned privatization of the MRT-3, saying it will undergo consultations with various stakeholders.    

Should it push through, Ms. Poe-Llamanzares recommended that the government maintain regulatory authority over fare rates to protect commuters.   

“The riding public’s welfare, convenience and safety should be the priority,” she said. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan