Senate mulls decrease of MRT subsidy

Budget framers in the Senate are looking at slashing the P7.3 billion subsidy earmarked for the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) in 2011 to P6.9 billion in the face of strengthening peso.

The P7.3- billion subsidy was computed based on an exchange rate of P50 to the dollar.

But since the peso began gaining ground vis-à-vis the US dollar, the Senate is seen revising the exchange rate projection to a less conservative estimate of P48 to the dollar.

The tweaking in foreign exchange rate outlook would translate to an instant savings of at least P400 million under the proposed national outlay of P1.654 trillion next year.

The peso has been flexing its muscle since early November, appreciating to a high of P42.37 against the greenback. Last Monday, the peso closed at P43.71 to the US dollar.

The savings derived from a strong peso could be higher since local and foreign banks have remained bullish. (Dino Ng)

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