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IRC gets nod to proceed with $3.7-B Makati Subway project

IRC Properties Inc. has received the nod from the Makati City government to proceed with the planned $3.7-billion subway project, and has generated nearly P5 billion from selling shares.

In a regulatory filing submitted by accounting manager Keinth Roger Castillo on Tuesday, IRC said it received the necessary requirements from the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Selection Committee of the Makati City Government to proceed with the Makati Subway System.

“The company received today from PPP Selection Committee of Makati City Government a Notice of Award for the construction and operation of the Makati Subway System to be implemented through a joint venture agreement,” the filing said.

“The project has been awarded to the original proponent, IRC Properties Inc., as the lead proponent of a consortium,” it said.

IRC earlier submitted an unsolicited proposal for the $3.7-billion project which seeks to provide an intra-city rail transport system in Makati City.

The consortium will build, operate, and maintain an 11-kilometer intra-city subway mass rail transport system with up to 10 stations connecting key points in Makati’s two districts. The project entails no cash out on the part of the city government.

The mass rail system is expected to accommodate 700,000 passengers a day and link to the Metro Rail Transit and the Pasig River Ferry, as well as the anticipated Metro Manila Subway.

Several companies have indicated their intention to be part of the IRC consortium, including Greenland Holdings, Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group, Kwan On Holdings, MingTu Investment Holdings, and China Harbour Engineering Construction Ltd.

“The city government will only contribute land it currently owns and which will be used in the subway system,” Makati Mayor Abigal Binay said in August, noting that the company is scheduled to break ground for the project in December.

In a separate filing, IRC said it generated nearly P5 billion from the stock subscriptions of Aggregate Business Group Holdings Inc. and Auspicious One-Belt-One-Road Fund.

The company received some P4.562 billion from the sale of 4,148,105,000 common shares to Aggregate Business, and some P404.992 million from the sale of 368,175,000 shares to Auspicious One-Belt-One-Road. Both transactions were priced at P1.10 per share.

“The shares will be issued out of the increase from P1.5 billion to P19.5 billion as previously approved by the board of directors and stockholders of the Corporation,” according to IRC.

IRC president and CEO Antonio Tiu told GMA News Online that the company is looking at other funding options, but details have yet to be finalized

“Yes [we are looking at other funding options]. Will advise you soon,” he said on Tuesday.

As an unsolicited proposal, the project was subjected to a Swiss challenge in June. This entailed inviting other firms to make competing offers, while giving the original proponent the right to match. —Jon Viktor Cabuenas/VDS, GMA News