MANILA, Philippines – Telecommunication rivals Smart Communications Incorporated and Globe Telecom Incorporated are infusing P160 million ($3.61 million) each in fresh equity into a consortium behind the P1.7-billion ($38.38 million) automated fare collection system (AFCS).
The AFCS is paving the way for a single-ticketing system for Light Rail Transit lines 1 and 2 (LRT) Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT3).
Smart is putting additional P160 million ($3.61 million) fresh capital in its 20% stake in AFCSI that is undertaking the public-private partnership (PPP) project via Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) led also by Manuel “Manny” V. Pangilinan.
Likewise, the Ayala-led Globe is also adding P160 million ($3.61 million) representing its 20% interest in the special purpose company. Ayala Corporation, with MPIC, is undertaking the AFCS PPP project.
The additional equity infusion from Smart and Globe is a result of the added capital infusion of P800 million ($18.02 million) approved by the AFCSI board of directors on January 20 to fund the completion of the AFCS project before September.
Shareholders, meanwhile, should pay in proportion to their share subscriptions in AFCSI on or before March 31.
Smart has 20% in AFCSI after it subscribed to 503 million shares at P1 ($0.022) per share. Of the total subscription price, Smart paid P300 million ($6.77 million), with a remaining unpaid balance of P203 million ($4.58 million).
As such, Smart said its investments in AFCSI would amount to P289 million ($6.53 million), net of subscription payable of P203 million ($4.58 million) as of end-December.
Meanwhile, Globe already invested P300 million ($6.77 million) in the consortium with 20% equivalent equity interest.
The MPIC-Ayala led AF Consortium bagged a 10-year contract from the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to undertake the AFCS project in January 2013.
The consortium signed a concession agreement with the DOTC in June that year. The consortium is composed of AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, BPI Card Finance Corporation, and Globe Telecom Incorporated for the Ayala Group. MPIC group is composed of Meralco Financial Services Corporation and Smart.
The project aims to upgrade ticketing systems for LRT1 and 2 and MRT3 by substantially speeding up payments, reducing queuing time, and facilitating efficient passenger transfer to other rail lines.
Old magnetic tickets would be decommissioned, to be replaced with contactless-based smart card technology. A centralized back officer will also be put up to apportion the revenues. – Rappler.com
US$1 = P44.29