SC asked to invalidate LRT-1 Cavite extension project
MANILA, Philippines – Militant groups asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday, November 12, to stop the implementation of the concession agreement for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 Cavite Extension Project.
In their complaint, the groups asked the court to declare as invalid the P65-billion concession agreement between the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC).
The tandem of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) and Ayala Corporation signed the 32-year concession agreement with the government in 2014.
The petition was filed by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares, commuters group Train Riders Network, Courage chair Ferdinand Gaite, RILES convenor Sammy Malunes, Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) employee Maria Kristina Cassion, and scientist group Agham.
They said the agreement does not comply with provisions of the Constitution, and was signed without public consultations.
The agreement covers the privatization of the operation and maintenance of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1.
It also covers the extension of the existing Line 1 from 20.7 kilometers to 32.4 kilometers, with its south endpoint in Bacoor, Cavite.
“The contract is loaded with sovereign guarantees that are contrary to law and detrimental to the people. The Aquino government, through the DOTC, negotiated a lopsided contract that will place us deep in debt,” BAYAN secretary general Renato Reyes said in a statement.
The petitioners also said that the agremeent was one-sided because the government is shouldering financial risks while the concessionaires were given a "risk-free revenue contract" with guaranteed profits.
Under the agreement, the winning bidder has been guaranteed a fare hike every two years. The government will have to shoulder deficit payment if the consortium failed to collect the fare increase.
The petitioners also said that the DOTC and the LRMC should not have awarded the project, adding that only the LRTA has the mandate to operate the LRT1. – Rappler.com