By Ben Rosario
The House of Representatives will have to join President Duterte in investigating the allegedly onerous P65-billion concession agreement for the maintenance and operation of Light Rail Transit 1 (LRT-1) that was awarded to the Ayala and Pangilinan group.
ACT- CIS Partylist Rep. Eric Go Yap said he will ask the House Committees on Public Trust and on Good Government to exercise its oversight function and look into the concession agreement that President Duterte assailed the other day.
“I share the sentiment and frustration of the President on the LRT Contract between the government and the LRMC by the Ayala and Pangilinan group,” said Yap.
Duterte declared that the Light Rail Manila Corporation’s concession agreement with government will be next on his list of contracts that are highly disadvantageous to the public and government.
The LRMC is a joint venture company of the Pangilinan-run Metro Pacific Investments Corporation’s Metro Pacific Light Corporation, Ayala Corporation’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation and the Phiippine Investment Alliance for Infrascture’s Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) PTE Ltd.
The company started running the operations and maintenance of LRT 1 in 2015, after being awarded the 32-year concession agreement with the Department of Transportation and the Light Rail Transit Authority, it was learned.
“The Concession Agreement is very lopsided in favor of LRMC and it is a mockery of our constitution and existing laws. If my figures are right, the Gross Revenue Amount reported by LRMC in just four years is already bigger than the Project Concession Fee, while the government bears the financial impact of this agreement,” noted Yap.
He lamented that the concession agreement may still be extended to 50 years.
Yap said the House probe into the agreement will include the extent of participation of government officials in reaching the highly irregular deal.
In a speech in Davao City, Duterte said the LRT concession pact will be reviewed, noting that this is just one of the government contracts that the Pangilinans and the Ayalas took advantage of.