President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday sought the review of the state-run Light Rail Transit Authority’s existing contract with the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) after he learned that Fernando Zobel de Ayala and Manuel V. Pangilinan also have key roles in its operations.
Duterte made the remarks as he slammed anew the two water concessionaires, Manila Water and Maynilad, for putting the Filipinos and the entire country at a disadvantage due to its onerous contracts with the government.
Ayala chairs Manila Water while Pangilinan chairs Maynilad.
Meanwhile, the LRMC is a consortium of the Ayala-led AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Pangilinan-owned Metro Pacific Investments Corp., and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte. Ltd.
Duterte, in a speech delivered in Davao City on Friday night, vowed to go after Ayala and Pangilinan because they have had enough.
“Karami na nilang pera, sobra-sobra na. Getting most of the contract, LRT. Merong — silipin ko. Meron man pala sila sa LRT (They have a lot of money. That’s too much. They are getting most of the contracts, including one concerning LRT operations. They are also controlling it),” the President said. “Marami ‘yan silang pinasukan sa gobyerno pero (They have entered many deals with the government but) this one (water agreement) is really the biggest rip-off of all. And that contract was never shown to the Filipino people.”
On Dec. 5, 2019, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Philippine government’s public service contracts with private companies are subject to thorough scrutiny, following controversies hounding the supposed “onerous” deals with Manila Water and Maynilad.
Panelo said the Chief Executive has ordered the review of numerous existing government contracts with private firms to make sure that these are advantageous to the Filipino people. PNA.GOV.PH