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BARACK, AQUINO TALK OF LIFE AFTER PRESIDENCY


FEBRUARY 18 -President Barack Obama, right, stands with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, left, at a meeting of ASEAN, the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations, at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Monday, Feb. 15, 2016. Obama and the leaders of the Southeast Asian nations are gathering for two days of talks on economic and security issues and on forging deeper ties amid China’s assertive presence in the region. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
With both leaders soon to end their terms, the conversation between President Aquino and US President Barack Obama revolved around their lives after they step down from office. Mr. Aquino and Obama had a chance to talk during the two-day summit between the United States and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, their first meeting as strategic leaders. But personal discussions between Mr. Aquino and Obama during the gathering were a bit more personal. “During the times that we got to talk, we did not discuss related topics. For instance, the last thing I mentioned to him was that in August, I will write to him about what a life of freedom being a normal citizen is like. He said he would wait for it,” Mr. Aquino told reporters. READ MORE...

ALSO: P-Noy raises government pay sans Congress approval


FEBRUARY 20 -“We commend the President for his swift and decisive action in response to the congressional deadlock on the issue of the indexation of MUP (military and uniformed personnel) pension, which resulted in the non-passage of the proposed Salary Standardization Law of 2015,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said. STAR/File photo
About 1.5 million state employees are set to receive higher pay after President Aquino signed yesterday an executive order modifying the government’s salary schedule and providing additional benefits to civilian and uniformed personnel.
The signing of EO No. 201 came two weeks after Congress adjourned without passing the proposed Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 4, which would have implemented a four-year salary increase program for government workers. Lawmakers failed to reach an agreement over a proposal by the Senate to index the pension of retired military and uniformed personnel to the salary increases of their active duty counterparts. The budget department previously said there are no funds in this year’s budget for the indexation, which is expected to bloat the government’s pension requirements. The House of Representatives’ version of the measure, meanwhile, did not hike the retired uniformed personnel’s pension. “We commend the President for his swift and decisive action in response to the congressional deadlock on the issue of the indexation of MUP (military and uniformed personnel) pension, which resulted in the non-passage of the proposed Salary Standardization Law of 2015,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said. “This action by the President leverages the benefits package in order to increase the take-home pay of government employees as stipulated in the proposed SSL bills,” he added. In the EO, Aquino said the salary adjustment would ensure that the compensation structure of government personnel is comparable with the prevailing rates in the private sector. The new scheme will raise the minimum salary for Salary Grade 1 from P9,000 to P11,068. READ MORE...

ALSO: Noy worsened poverty, debt burden – FDC group
[“In addition, the public sector debt was P7.434 trillion or 58.8 percent of the GDP. Public sector debt in 2014 was 13.17 percent higher than the 2010 figure, when Aquino took over as president. The Aquino III regime has actually become the biggest borrower among post-EDSA presidents with total borrowings of P4.24 trillion from 2010-2014,” he said. Tadem said the outstanding debt of the national government under the Aquino administration has been growing at an average rate of 4.8 percent.]


FEBRUARY 20 -With each Filipino now having an estimated debt of P62,235.26, the group Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) has accused President Aquino of worsening the country’s poverty and debt burden during his administration. STAR/File photo  “He turned out to be the biggest loan addict and a total failure in addressing the Philippines’ entrapment in a cycle of debt dependence,” Eduardo Tadem, president of FDC, said yesterday in a press conference. FDC said Aquino has even surpassed former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the biggest borrower among Philippine leaders over a full term, from 1986 to present. The group revealed that the current administration would leave its successor with P6.4 trillion of outstanding national government debt, P4.16 trillion of which are borrowings made during Aquino’s term. FDC said that with the 103 million population, each Filipino now owes P62,235.26 plus P4,251 in government-guaranteed debts. The group claimed that this unresolved debt problem has resulted in the government’s failure to meet its obligations to the people, or social debt as a percentage of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). FDC revealed that the President’s social debt in the sector of education and health alone amounts to P7 trillion. “Philippine leaders since 1986 have merely continued this dependence on debt and non-prioritization of the welfare of the people because of blind adherence to prescriptions of country and multilateral lenders. It is time for us, the voters, to rise up and stage an electoral insurgency against debt and its role in perpetuating poverty and inequality,” the group said. FDC announced that its call for electoral insurgency focuses on demands for the repeal of the automatic appropriations for debt servicing, repeal of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, tax and fiscal justice to ensure priority government spending for the people’s needs and welfare, climate justice and housing and essential public services. READ MORE...

ALSO: MRT-7 builders ready to start; DoTC chief says not yet
[THE TRANSPORTATION department has yet to decide on when the San Miguel group can start building the Metro Rail Line 7 (MRT-7) that will connect Quezon City to San Jose, Bulacan, even with the conglomerate saying it was ready to start immediately. “We have not yet made any actions yet,” Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya told reporters on Wednesday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.]


FEBRUARY 16 -ABAYA “We have not yet made any actions yet,” Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya told reporters on Wednesday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“But we have written them to also identify the strategic investors, that is a clear requirement in the concession agreement,” he added. After more than seven years of delay, San Miguel Corp., through Universal LRT Corp. BVI Ltd. (ULC), said on Monday night that it complied with the financial requirement of the public-private partnership (PPP) project and is “ready” to start building. San Miguel’s contractor, Hyundai Rotem-EEI consortium, proposed to start by Feb. 18 this year and complete the MRT-7 by Aug. 17, 2019 but the group is waiting for the DoTC to identify the actual start date. Pressed for confirmation on the timeline, Mr. Abaya said: “I have to check when they could [start]. They still have to do the DED (detailed engineering design), they still have to go through the process.” In a separate mobile phone reply yesterday, DoTC Assistant Secretary Jaime Fortunato A. Caringal said: “We are still finalizing details also in coordination with ULC.” The project involves the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the 23-kilometer elevated railway line with 14 stations from San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan to MRT 3 North Avenue in Quezon City; as well as a 22-kilometer asphalt road from Bocaue Interchange of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) to the intermodal terminal in Tala in Caloocan City. READ MORE...

ALSO: Abaya - MRT-7 contract not a midnight deal


FEBRUARY 17 -Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) – Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya said the deal for the construction of the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) was not rushed in time for the upcoming elections.
Abaya said the project has been in the works for years. In fact, he explained the implementing guidelines for the project was signed a year and a half ago, and the private concessionaire of MRT-7 is now preparing to break ground. In a recent statement, Universal LRT Corp BVI Ltd (ULC), led by San Miguel Corp, said it has secured the financial aspect of the deal. “So after nun katungkulan ng concessionaire na kausapin ang magpapa-utang sa kanila at to do this financial close. Nasa kanila ang bola so naghihintay lang kami,” Abaya said. [Translation: “So after that, it is the concessionaire’s duty to speak to potential investors and do this financial closure. The ball is in their hands, so we are just waiting.”] Under the contract, ULC will finance, build, operate and maintain a 23-kilometer elevated railway from Bulacan to the MRT North Avenue station in Quezon City. “We look forward na matuloy itong MRT-7. How soon? It’s up to them, after nito we are monitoring and supervising them,” Abaya said. [Translation: “We look forward to the completion of MRT-7. How soon? It’s up to them, after this we are monitoring and supervising them.”] THE FULL REPORT.


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Barack, Aquino talk of life after presidency


President Barack Obama, right, stands with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, left, at a meeting of ASEAN, the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations, at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Monday, Feb. 15, 2016. Obama and the leaders of the Southeast Asian nations are gathering for two days of talks on economic and security issues and on forging deeper ties amid China’s assertive presence in the region. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

LOS ANGELES, FEBRUARY 22, 2016
(INQUIRER) By: Leila B. Salaveria @inquirerdotnet February 18th, 2016 - With both leaders soon to end their terms, the conversation between President Aquino and US President Barack Obama revolved around their lives after they step down from office.

Mr. Aquino and Obama had a chance to talk during the two-day summit between the United States and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, their first meeting as strategic leaders.

But personal discussions between Mr. Aquino and Obama during the gathering were a bit more personal.

“During the times that we got to talk, we did not discuss related topics. For instance, the last thing I mentioned to him was that in August, I will write to him about what a life of freedom being a normal citizen is like. He said he would wait for it,” Mr. Aquino told reporters.

READ MORE...

At one point, Obama asked him what he wanted to do after he ends his term.

He also asked Mr. Aquino if he was happy about not having to take part in the ongoing election process.

“I told him, I think I share your sentiment,” he said.

Their discussions revolved around these matters.

Mr. Aquino is set to end his six-year term on June 30, while Obama is on his second and last term that will end on Jan. 20, 2017.

The Philippines has just kicked off its official campaign period. In the United States, its Republican and Democratic parties have been holding primaries to select candidates for president.

According to Mr. Aquino, the Philippines and the United States have already reached an understanding on so many matters.

Asked whether they talked about the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement that would allow American troops access to Philippine bases, he said the two countries had discussed the issue in several meetings and dialogues.

“We have probably reached the point of our relationship where we already understand each other. Repeating the discussions won’t be necessary,” Mr. Aquino said.


PHILSTAR

P-Noy raises government pay sans Congress approval By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 20, 2016 - 12:00am 5 95 googleplus0 1


“We commend the President for his swift and decisive action in response to the congressional deadlock on the issue of the indexation of MUP (military and uniformed personnel) pension, which resulted in the non-passage of the proposed Salary Standardization Law of 2015,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said. STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - About 1.5 million state employees are set to receive higher pay after President Aquino signed yesterday an executive order modifying the government’s salary schedule and providing additional benefits to civilian and uniformed personnel.

The signing of EO No. 201 came two weeks after Congress adjourned without passing the proposed Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 4, which would have implemented a four-year salary increase program for government workers.

Lawmakers failed to reach an agreement over a proposal by the Senate to index the pension of retired military and uniformed personnel to the salary increases of their active duty counterparts.

The budget department previously said there are no funds in this year’s budget for the indexation, which is expected to bloat the government’s pension requirements.

The House of Representatives’ version of the measure, meanwhile, did not hike the retired uniformed personnel’s pension.

“We commend the President for his swift and decisive action in response to the congressional deadlock on the issue of the indexation of MUP (military and uniformed personnel) pension, which resulted in the non-passage of the proposed Salary Standardization Law of 2015,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.

“This action by the President leverages the benefits package in order to increase the take-home pay of government employees as stipulated in the proposed SSL bills,” he added.

In the EO, Aquino said the salary adjustment would ensure that the compensation structure of government personnel is comparable with the prevailing rates in the private sector.

The new scheme will raise the minimum salary for Salary Grade 1 from P9,000 to P11,068.

READ MORE...

Aquino said the adjustment would also maximize the net take-home pay of government workers through the inclusion of additional benefits.

Abad said the EO would implement compensation adjustment for this year as an interim measure to implement the first tranche of the proposed SSL.

He said the full-year requirement for the salary standardization has already been provided for in the national budget.

The modified salary schedule for civilian personnel will be implemented in four tranches.

The first tranche will be applied retroactively to Jan. 1, 2016. The succeeding tranches will be implemented every year until 2019.

The EO also grants civilian government personnel a mid-year bonus equivalent to one month’s basic salary, and the productivity enhancement incentive worth P5,000.

The salary adjustment, however, will not cover workers of government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) that are governed by their respective charters.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.said salary adjustments for employees of state-run firms are provided for in the GOCC Governance Act of 2011.

Abad said GOCCs not covered by the GCG may implement compensation adjustments charged to their corporate funds.

Military and uniformed personnel, meanwhile, will not enjoy increase in their basic salary but will be given higher hazard pay, a provisional allowance and officers’ allowance.

Increasing the basic pay of active soldiers and uniformed personnel would also raise the pension of retired ones because of the law on indexation. Officials have previously called for pension reforms to reduce the funding requirements and avert a fiscal crisis.

The monthly hazard pay for soldiers will be raised from P240 to P390 this year, P540 next year, P690 in 2018 and P840 in 2019. The officers’ allowance, meanwhile, will be given to those with the rank of captain up to four-star general and their equivalents. The allowance will range from P1,000 to P9,000 in the first tranche, P3,000 to 18,000 in the second, P4,500 to P25,000 in the third and P7,000 to P35,000 in the fourth tranche.

“LGUs (local government units) may also implement the compensation adjustments subject to the Personnel Services limitation under the law,” Abad said.

Compensation adjustments for the president, the vice president and members of Congress will only take effect after the terms of the incumbent officials expire.

“We trust that Congress will pass the SSL when it resumes so that the proposed compensation adjustments to be implemented in four tranches over four years will be permanent,” Abad said.

“With its passage, we will be able to achieve the desired outcome of the proposed SSL, which is to bring the compensation of all government workers to at least 70 percent of the market rate,” he added.

Under the bill, basic salaries of the 1.53 million state employees and military personnel will rise by an average of 27 percent over a four-year period beginning this year.

From 2016 to 2019, the monthly basic salary of those under Salary Grade (SG) 1 will rise to P11,068 from P9,000. The president, who tops the salary ladder at SG 33, will see a pay increase to P388,096 from P120,000.

The pay adjustments will cost the government P225.82 billion from 2016 to 2019 divided as follows: P57.906 billion in 2016, P54.393 billion in 2017, P65.976 billion in 2018 and P47.544 billion in 2019.

Lawmakers welcome salary hike Senate President Franklin Drilon lauded the President for finally signing the EO to raise the salaries of government personnel and vowed to work on getting the SSL4 approved in the next administration.

“I am glad that the President has finally signed the EO which will start the long-awaited pay hike for our dedicated and hardworking government employees,” Drilon said.

“However, given that the President’s EO will only cover the salary hike for this year, the challenge to implement the full four–year salary hike as envisioned remains with lawmakers,” he added.

Drilon said that this issue would have to be settled by Congress in the next administration and that if he succeeds in his bid for reelection, he would personally see to it that the SSL4 is one of the first bills taken up.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, the sponsor of SSL4, said that the move of the President to implement the pay hike through an EO was welcome but would have been better had he included the increase in the pension of the military and police.

Trillanes said that he would continue to push for this provision in the SSL4 in the next administration.

Sen. Ralph Recto said that the EO issued by the President effectively “makes the provisions of the deadlocked bill on SSL4 permanent.”

“It does not merely implement the congressionally authorized funding for the first tranche but prescribes a new pay classification system, which must be funded in the coming years,” Recto said.

Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez yesterday lauded Aquino’s decision to sign the EO.

“We laud this act of the President although it was long overdue. But since the EO will only cover this year’s pay hike, we should continue to remain steadfast to pass a law that would sustain the increase for the next three years, as originally planned,” he said.

“The big challenge is for the incoming Congress and the next president to guarantee that the increase will happen again in 2017, 2018 and 2019 to complete the objective of this four-year pay hike plan,” he said.

Meanwhile, government employees nationwide have set protest actions even as President Aquino ordered an increase in salaries of public officials and employees. – With Jess Diaz, Marvin Sy, Prinz Magtulis, Mayen Jaymalin


PHILSTAR

Noy worsened poverty, debt burden – group By Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 20, 2016 - 12:00am 12 202 googleplus1 9


With each Filipino now having an estimated debt of P62,235.26, the group Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) has accused President Aquino of worsening the country’s poverty and debt burden during his administration. STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - With each Filipino now having an estimated debt of P62,235.26, the group Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) has accused President Aquino of worsening the country’s poverty and debt burden during his administration.

“He turned out to be the biggest loan addict and a total failure in addressing the Philippines’ entrapment in a cycle of debt dependence,” Eduardo Tadem, president of FDC, said yesterday in a press conference.

FDC said Aquino has even surpassed former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the biggest borrower among Philippine leaders over a full term, from 1986 to present.

The group revealed that the current administration would leave its successor with P6.4 trillion of outstanding national government debt, P4.16 trillion of which are borrowings made during Aquino’s term.

FDC said that with the 103 million population, each Filipino now owes P62,235.26 plus P4,251 in government-guaranteed debts.

The group claimed that this unresolved debt problem has resulted in the government’s failure to meet its obligations to the people, or social debt as a percentage of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

FDC revealed that the President’s social debt in the sector of education and health alone amounts to P7 trillion.

“Philippine leaders since 1986 have merely continued this dependence on debt and non-prioritization of the welfare of the people because of blind adherence to prescriptions of country and multilateral lenders. It is time for us, the voters, to rise up and stage an electoral insurgency against debt and its role in perpetuating poverty and inequality,” the group said.

FDC announced that its call for electoral insurgency focuses on demands for the repeal of the automatic appropriations for debt servicing, repeal of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, tax and fiscal justice to ensure priority government spending for the people’s needs and welfare, climate justice and housing and essential public services.

READ MORE...

Walden Bello, an independent senatorial candidate, said that it is criminal that debt payments get the first cut in the national budget before appropriations are made for social and economic services.

“This vicious cycle of debt and ballooning social debt will continue as long as the government resorts to new borrowings to pay for old loans, including those tainted with fraud and corruption and with the existence of the law on automatic appropriations for debt servicing,” said Bello during the FDC press conference.

FDC said that from 1986 to 2015, or over a course of 30 years, the continued implementation of the policy on automatic appropriations for debt servicing has resulted in an average of 27.21 percent of annual public revenues automatically earmarked for interest payments, while principal amortization has eaten up an average of 67.61 percent of government’s new borrowings.

Tadem said one of the most cynical projections on how the Philippine economy will fare in 2016 was made by a Bank of the Philippine Islands economist who predicted that the country will grow by 6.2 percent “on the back of election spending,” particularly in the first half of the year.

“Election spending, of course, is merely a euphemism for massive vote buying, the improper and unethical use of government resources for the campaigns of pro-administration candidates, the splurging by big business and other vested interests of corporate and personal funds by donating to all candidates with a chance of winning, overspending by rich and propertied candidates and other supporters, funding the use of violence to increase chances of winning and many other counter-productive use of financial and other resources,” he said.

“These types of ‘election spending’ do not benefit the poor whose dismal and disempowered status is being used by traditional politicians and the ruling classes to advance the latter’s elite interests,” Tadem claimed.

The FDC, he explained, argues that the Philippine debt deserves closer scrutiny and critique. FDC reports that total national government debt as of December 2015 stood at P5.955 trillion, of which P3.884 trillion are domestic debts while P2.1 trillion are foreign obligations.

“In addition, the public sector debt was P7.434 trillion or 58.8 percent of the GDP. Public sector debt in 2014 was 13.17 percent higher than the 2010 figure, when Aquino took over as president. The Aquino III regime has actually become the biggest borrower among post-EDSA presidents with total borrowings of P4.24 trillion from 2010-2014,” he said.

Tadem said the outstanding debt of the national government under the Aquino administration has been growing at an average rate of 4.8 percent.


BUSINESS WORLD ONLINE

MRT-7 builders ready to start; DoTC says not yet Posted on February 16, 2016 10:33:00 PM By Daphne J. Magturo, Reporter

THE TRANSPORTATION department has yet to decide on when the San Miguel group can start building the Metro Rail Line 7 (MRT-7) that will connect Quezon City to San Jose, Bulacan, even with the conglomerate saying it was ready to start immediately.

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“We have not yet made any actions yet,” Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya told reporters on Wednesday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“But we have written them to also identify the strategic investors, that is a clear requirement in the concession agreement,” he added.

After more than seven years of delay, San Miguel Corp., through Universal LRT Corp. BVI Ltd. (ULC), said on Monday night that it complied with the financial requirement of the public-private partnership (PPP) project and is “ready” to start building.

San Miguel’s contractor, Hyundai Rotem-EEI consortium, proposed to start by Feb. 18 this year and complete the MRT-7 by Aug. 17, 2019 but the group is waiting for the DoTC to identify the actual start date.

Pressed for confirmation on the timeline, Mr. Abaya said: “I have to check when they could [start]. They still have to do the DED (detailed engineering design), they still have to go through the process.”

In a separate mobile phone reply yesterday, DoTC Assistant Secretary Jaime Fortunato A. Caringal said: “We are still finalizing details also in coordination with ULC.”

The project involves the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the 23-kilometer elevated railway line with 14 stations from San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan to MRT 3 North Avenue in Quezon City; as well as a 22-kilometer asphalt road from Bocaue Interchange of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) to the intermodal terminal in Tala in Caloocan City.

READ MORE...

“The road component will divert northern provincial buses’ operations to San Jose Del Monte, thereby decongesting EDSA,” read a project brief on the PPP Center’s Web site.

ULC signed the project’s 25-year concession agreement in 2008, but failed to secure a performance undertaking that was a condition for financial closure. Performance undertakings involve a state guarantee while financial closure entails having all requirements and necessary permits.

San Miguel acquired a 51% stake in ULC in 2010. Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima signed the performance undertaking on July 23, 2014.

So far, contracts for 12 PPP projects cumulatively worth some P217.4 billion have been awarded since the infrastructure flagship was launched in the third quarter of 2010 -- or right after Mr. Aquino assumed office -- namely: the P1.72-billion Automatic Fare Collection System, P2.01-billion Daang Hari-SLEx Link Road (Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway) Project, the P2.50-billion Southwest Integrated Transport System (ITS) Project, the P4-billion ITS South Terminal Project, the P8.69-billion Modernization of Philippine Orthopedic Center project (whose contract winning bidder Megawide Construction Corp. terminated the deal in November last year), the P15.86-billion second phase of the NAIA Expressway Project, the P16.43-billion first phase of the PPP for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP), the P3.86-billion PSIP’s second phase, the P17.52-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport Passenger Terminal Building, the P24.4-billion Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project, the P55.51-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway and the P64.9-billion LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension and Operation & Maintenance project.


CNN PHILIPPINES

Abaya: MRT-7 contract not a midnight deal By AC Nicholls, CNN Philippines Updated 00:49 AM PHT Wed, February 17, 2016 17 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreen ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60%

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) – Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya said the deal for the construction of the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) was not rushed in time for the upcoming elections.

Abaya said the project has been in the works for years.

In fact, he explained the implementing guidelines for the project was signed a year and a half ago, and the private concessionaire of MRT-7 is now preparing to break ground.

In a recent statement, Universal LRT Corp BVI Ltd (ULC), led by San Miguel Corp, said it has secured the financial aspect of the deal.

“So after nun katungkulan ng concessionaire na kausapin ang magpapa-utang sa kanila at to do this financial close. Nasa kanila ang bola so naghihintay lang kami,” Abaya said.

[Translation: “So after that, it is the concessionaire’s duty to speak to potential investors and do this financial closure. The ball is in their hands, so we are just waiting.”]

Under the contract, ULC will finance, build, operate and maintain a 23-kilometer elevated railway from Bulacan to the MRT North Avenue station in Quezon City.

“We look forward na matuloy itong MRT-7. How soon? It’s up to them, after nito we are monitoring and supervising them,” Abaya said.

[Translation: “We look forward to the completion of MRT-7. How soon? It’s up to them, after this we are monitoring and supervising them.”]


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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