EDSA Carousel privatization eyed by DOTr

·Contributor
·2 min read
Commuters wait for their ride at a bus stop during rush hours along main highway EDSA in Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines June 21, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Erik De Castro)
Commuters wait for their ride at a bus stop during rush hours along main highway EDSA in Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines June 21, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Erik De Castro)

After the Department of Transportation (DOTr) revealed on Friday (September 9) that it is eyeing the privatization of the EDSA Carousel and the commuter rail systems, the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) said that the project study would take from six to 12 months to finish.

According to a report by the Inquirer, the news was met with disappointment from private sector companies who might want to invest in the said transport system.

“This approach was met with disappointment from the private sector participants as the concept of the busway has been proven during the two years in operation and it is no longer a greenfield project that requires an exhaustive and time-consuming project study,” the summary of the consultation held last week read, as emailed by MAP’s infrastructure committee chair, Eddie Yap.

“It was suggested to let private proponents prepare the necessary spadework as a way of fast-tracking the submission of proposals for government evaluation and approval,” the summary read further.

In an interview with GMA News’ Unang Balita on Monday (September 12), DOTr Undersecretary Mark Steven Pastor said that Secretary Jaime Bautista has already greenlighted the study on the possible privatization of the EDSA Carousel, which would determine the advantages of letting the private sector manage the busway system.

Nagbigay po ng direktiba ang aming kalihim na si Secretary Jimmy Bautista na agad-agad ay aralin at gumawa ng feasibility study upang ating masukat, matukoy, at malaman kung ano ba yung mga magiging benepisyo kung ang operations po ng ating busway system ay isasapribado at ibibigay po sa ating private sector participants,” Pastor said.

(Transport Secretary Jimmy Bautista has given a directive to study and conduct a feasibility study of the possible benefits of privatizing the EDSA busway system in terms of management and operations.)

However, Pastor said that in terms of fares on the said busway system, it would still be highly regulated and under the jurisdiction of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and is also being considered for the study.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates. The views expressed are his own.

Watch more videos on Yahoo: