Posts Tagged ‘NLEX-SLEX Connector Road’

Swiss challenge set for connector road

Malaya Business Insight, 04 August 2014

 

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will subject to a Swiss challenge the P18-billion North and South connector road project submitted by unsolicited proponent Metro Pacific Investment Corp.

DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued an opinion recommending that the unsolicited proposal   go through the Swiss challenge process.

The unsolicited proponent, MPIC unit Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. and Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) have entered into joint venture agreement for the project but is flexible to subjecting the proposal to a Swiss challenge, Abaya said. The proponent has the right to match the challenger’s offer.

The Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) will undertake the bidding.

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) board headed by President Aquino earlier gave the go-signal to the MPIC-PNCC JV and for the revision the supplemental toll operations agreement (STOA) that would allow the construction of the NLEX-SLEX connector road and subject to the approval of the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB).

However, the TRB sought the DOJ opinion after a private lawyer filed an opposition questioning the JV.

The DOJ opposed the decision of the NEDA saying it was beyond its authority.

“Especially under the circumstances prevailing in this case, it would be highly unwise and even contrary to the tenets of good governance to suddenly convert an unsolicited proposal, which is about to be subjected to Swiss Challenge, into another mode of implementation, i.e., entering a JV between the Unsolicited Proponent and the PNCC at the behest.” DOJ said

Under the amended STOA, the so-called Segment 10 project would be redefined to cover the NLEX-SLEX connector road to be known as segment 10.2. This involves the construction of 8 kilometers of road from C5 to PUP in Sta. Mesa.

Without the amendment of the STOA, government rules require that a Swiss challenge be undertaken since the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road project is an unsolicited proposal.

Based on the original target, once the TRB approves the revised STOA, MPIC will begin groundwork on the project in the third quarter of this year. The project is set for completion in 2016.

The NLEX-SLEX Connector Road starts at C3 where segment 10.1 ends and will go towards PUP in Sta. Mesa.

Beyond that, a common alignment will traverse PUP, crossing the Pasig River towards Plaza Dilao, turning left on Osmeña Avenue connecting to Buendia.

The connector road project is part of the NLEX Metro Expressway Link which is seen to  significantly reduce travel time between NLEX and SLEX from about 2 hours to 20 minutes,  decongest Metro Manila’s main arterial roads, eradicate the truck ban and thus allow the unhampered transport of goods from Luzon’s northern and southern provinces to the metropolis.

The other NLEX-SLEX connector road project   being undertaken by the Citra Central Expressway Corp., (CCEC) started construction last April.

Called Skyway Stage 3, the P 26.7-billion project involves the construction of a 14.8-km road targeted for completion in 36 months.

The six-lane elevated expressway   will connect the end of the Skyway in Buendia, Makati City to Balintawak, Quezon City.

 

‘Swiss challenge’ weighs on MPIC road deal

Philippine Daily Inquirer, 04 August 2014

By Miguel R. Camus

 

The 8-kilometer Metro Manila connector road of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. will be subjected to a “Swiss” or a competitive challenge, as the administration shifts gears following legal questions raised on a project structure it was previously seeking to implement, senior government officials said last week.

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson said in a text message that the project’s mode of implementation would revert back to an unsolicited proposal and “will need to go through a Swiss challenge.”

He added that a minimum of 90 days was needed for competing proposals to be submitted.

A Swiss challenge in this case means other groups would be allowed to offer to build the P18-billion connector road that would link Metro Pacific Tollways’ North Luzon Expressway with the South Luzon Expressway. But under the rules, Metro Pacific Tollways has the right to match rival offers to win the project.

“It’s going to be a smoother and quicker route, if we go back to the unsolicited structure,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya told reporters in an interview Friday.

The decision for the elevated expressway to be implemented under a joint venture with Philippine National Construction Corp.—which was backed by the National Economic and Development Authority—was struck down by the justice department last month, causing further delays to the project.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima specifically noted in the decision on July 7 that the Neda board approval on the new structure “appears to have been issued beyond its powers, and without factual basis or justification.”

Metro Pacific Tollways president Ramoncito Fernandez said they have always been open to a Swiss challenge, but because of the disagreements within the government on its implementation, the connector road would not start construction before 2015.

He said the estimated completion would then be moved to 2017 instead of the original plan to finish the road by the time President Aquino steps down in 2016. Metro Pacific Tollways is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., a listed infrastructure company led by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

San Miguel Corp. and Indonesia’s Citra Group, which jointly operate the SLEx, are currently building another elevated connector road that would link SLEx with NLEx. The completion of this project is expected as early as 2016, their officials said in a previous interview.

 

NLEX-SLEX connector road faces further delay

The Philippine Star, 04 August 2014

By Lawrence Agcaoili

 

MANILA, Philippines – The government has decided to revert back to the Swiss challenge scheme for the proposed P18-billion toll road connecting the North Luzon and South Luzon expressways originally proposed by infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the ball is now in the hands of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that is tasked to bid out the road project as the Department of Justice (DOJ) deemed the joint venture between MPIC’s Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC) and state-run Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) illegal.

“We received the DOJ opinion, and essentially, the direction is to go back to the unsolicited proposal and Swiss challenge,” Abaya said.

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson said the Swiss challenge could take at least three months.

“If it goes back to DPWH, we need to go through a Swiss challenge with a minimum of 90 days for competing proposal,” Singson said in a text message.

The head of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said President Aquino wants the NLEX-SLEX connector road constructed.

The Swiss challenge is expected to take anywhere from three months to 10 months from the publication of the Invitation to Bid to the awarding of the project. Under the process, the original proponent of the unsolicited proposal would have the right to match the highest bid.

As early as August 2012, the government was supposed to undertake the Swiss challenge process. However, the DOTC recommended that MPIC’s Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC) enter into a joint venture agreement with state-run Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) to expedite the connector road project.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has issued an opinion dated July 7 that the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board chaired by President Aquino erred when it approved the joint venture agreement for the connector road project.

The NEDA Board approved the amendment or extension of existing joint venture between MPTDC and PNCC as well as the supplemental toll operations agreement (STOA) to cover the extension of the franchise of NLEX under Presidential Decree No. 1894.

De Lima said in the 68-page letter sent to Transportation Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla that “the NEDA Board approval appears to have been issued beyond its powers, and without factual basis or justification.”

Even if the proposal is to proceed, instead, in accordance with the scheme described in the NEDA Board’s amended approval, De Lima said all government agencies, bodies and officials are constitutionally and statutorily required to ensure that such proposals do not merely offer advantageous terms from a business perspective.

She added that it would be highly unwise, and even contrary to the tenets of good governance, to suddenly convert an unsolicited proposal, which is about to be subjected to Swiss Challenge, into another mode of implementation by entering a joint between the unsolicited proponent and the PNCC.

“Thus, any perception that piggybacking on the franchise of PNCC would, in any way, allow the unsolicited proposal of MPTDC to evade or circumvent the Swiss Challenge requirement or would allow it to obtain the contract without competitive challenge, is erroneous,” she stressed.

MPIC is amenable to subjecting its unsolicited connector road project proposal to a “Swiss Challenge.”

The NLEX SLEX connector project was originally submitted to the DPWH in May 2010 under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law.

The project would connect NLEX and SLEX via Segment 9 worth P1.9 billion. Connecting NLEX to MacArthur Highway in Valenzuela would be completed in August and Segment 10, worth P10 billion, starts from the Mindanao Avenue exit of NLEX to North Harbor in August next year.

NLEX would be connected through the common alignment at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa to the P26.5 billion Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

 

Gov’t readies Swiss challenge for Metro Pacific’s Connector Road proposal

InterAksyon, 03 August 2014

By Darwin G. Amojelar

 

MANILA – The government will subject the Metro Pacific Group’s proposed connector road project to a Swiss challenge, according to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

“We’ve written the DPWH if they received the Department of Justice opinion. I think the direction is to go to Swiss Challenge,” Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya told reporters last Friday.

As lead implementing agency, the Department of Public Works and Highways will prepare the Swiss challenge.

In a 41-page legal opinion dated July 7, Justice Secretary Leila M. de Lima said the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board’s decision to implement the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road project as a joint venture, and not as an unsolicited venture, is “without factual basis or jurisdiction.”

President Benigno Aquino III chairs the NEDA board.

The joint-venture route was meant to do away with the Swiss challenge, which had been required of the project when it was still being pursued as an unsolicited venture. The DOTC had endorsed the joint-venture route to expedite the project.

To recall, Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp (MPTDC) earlier sealed a joint venture with Philippine National Construction Corp (PNCC) in a bid to facilitate construction of the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road.

MPTDC controls Manila North Tollways Corp (MNTC), which operates the North Luzon Expressway. State-run PNCC is the holder of the NLEX franchise, which MNTC manages on behalf of the government.

Under their deal, the Supplemental Toll Operations Agreement (STOA) between MNTC and PNCC was amended to incorporate the Connector Road project.

According to the amended STOA, the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road, which will be called Segment 10.2, would be integrated to Segment 10.1, a 5.65-kilometer road that starts where Segment 9 ends on MacArthur Highway and stretches all the way to C3 Road.

Segment 9 is a 2.4-kilometer portion linking the NLEX to MacArthur Highway. The 3 projects would now be called NLEX Metro Expressway Link Project.

MPTDC president Ramoncito Fernandez had said the project has been delayed for 8 months now and may not be completed by end-2016 if the government requires the Swiss challenge.

InterAksyon.com is the online news portal of TV5, which like MPIC is chaired by Manuel V. Pangilinan.

 

Swiss challenge to delay NLEX-SLEX connector road

Rappler, 03 August 2014

 

The P18-billion road project could be delayed by at least 3 months, said Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson

MANILA, Philippines – It’s back to the “Swiss Challenge” scheme for the P18-billion (US$411 million) toll road connecting the North and South Luzon Expressways.

The “Swiss Challenge” could take at least 3 months, said Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson.

“If it goes back to DPWH, we need to go through Swiss Challenge with a minimum of 90 days for competing proposal,” Singson said in a text message.

The NLEX-SLEX connector toll road was originally proposed by infrastructure company Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC).

The decision to go through Swiss Challenge was made after Justice Secretary Leila de Lima issued an opinion that the joint venture between MPIC’s Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation (MPTDC) and state-run Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC) is illegal.

“We received the DOJ opinion, and essentially, the direction is to go back to the unsolicited proposal and Swiss Challenge,” said Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

It’s now up to DPWH to bid out the road project, he added.

The “Swiss Challenge” can take 3 to 10 months from the publication of the Invitation to Bid to the awarding of the project. Under the process, the original proponent of the unsolicited proposal has the right to match the highest bid.

In August 2012, the government was supposed to undertake the “Swiss Challenge” process. But the DOTC recommended that MPTDC enter into a joint venture agreement with PNCC to speed up the process.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) opinion, dated July 7, expressed that the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board chaired by President Benigno Aquino III should not have approved the joint venture agreement for the road project.

The NEDA board greenlighted the amendment or extension of an existing joint venture between MPTDC and PNCC as well as the supplemental toll operations agreement to cover the extension of the franchise of NLEX under Presidential Decree No 1894.

In a 68-page letter to the DOTC, De Lima wrote “the NEDA board approval appears to have been issued beyond its powers, and without factual basis or justification.”

She added that it would be contrary to good governance to suddenly convert an unsolicited proposal, which is about to be subjected to Swiss Challenge, into another mode of implementation by entering a joint venture agreement between the unsolicited proponent and the PNCC.

“Thus, any perception that piggybacking on the franchise of PNCC would, in any way, allow the unsolicited proposal of MPTDC to evade or circumvent the Swiss Challenge requirement or would allow it to obtain the contract without competitive challenge, is erroneous,” she emphasized.

MPIC agrees to subjecting its unsolicited connector road project proposal to a “Swiss Challenge.”

The NLEX-SLEX connector project was originally submitted to DPWH in May 2010 under the Build-Operate-Transfer Law.

The project will connect NLEX and SLEX via two roads. Segment 9, worth P1.9 billion ($43.3 million), will connect NLEX to MacArthur Highway in Valenzuela and should be complete this August.

Segment 10, worth P10 billion ($228.1 million) starts from the Mindanao Avenue exit of NLEX to North Harbor and should be complete by August 2015.

NLEX will be connected to the common alignment at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta Mesa to the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation. – Rappler.com

 

MPIC not rushing to tap foreign partner

ABS-CBN News, 29 July 2014

 

MANILA – Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is taking its time in selling part of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) to foreign investors.

MPIC President Jose Ma. K. Lim said it is still waiting for Malacanang to resolve issues in the North and South Luzon Expressway connector road and the planned expansion of the Manila-Cavite Expressway (Cavitex).

“We’ve received expressions of interest from others but we are not in a particular hurry to dilute because we are still waiting for news on the connector road and the expansion plans of Cavitex which needs to be approved,” Lim said.

MPIC said in May that foreign investors are interested in buying at least a 20 percent stake in MPTC, which is the country’s largest toll road operator.

MPIC owns 99.8 percent of MPTC.

MPTC owns 71 percent of NLEX and SCTEX operator Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC); 100 percent of Cavitex Infrastructure Corp.; 46 percent of Tollways Management Corp (TMC); and 29.45 percent of Thailand’s Don Muang Tollway Public Company Ltd (DMT) via FPM Infrastructure Holdings Ltd.

Legal issues in the joint venture between Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC) and Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) in the NLEX-SLEX connector road have been raised, resulting to delays in the project.

Lim said the company hopes that the matter will be resolved soon with the intervention of President Aquino as the project has been pending with the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB).

“If there is any question, the government should take a position as to what is the correct process because we are only following directions of the government on which structure whether Swiss Challenge or not. The government should tell us clearly,” he said.

Lim added that MPIC is also waiting for the approval of the expansion of Cavitex.

He also noted that had MPIC won the bidding for the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) project, the company would have pursued the entry of a strategic partner.

“There is no real rush, but had we won CALAX, that would have been different,” he said.

 

Metro Pacific not rushing sale of stake in tollways unit

InterAksyon, 29 July 2014

By Darwin G. Amojelar

 

MANILA – Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPIC) is in no hurry to sell up to a fifth of the conglomerate’s tollway unit.

“We’ve received expressions of interest from others, but we are not in a particular hurry to dilute because we are still waiting for news on the Connector Road and the expansion plans of Cavitex, which needs to be approved. So there is no real rush but if we’ve won CALAX that would have been different,” Jose Ma. K. Lim, MPIC president told reporters last week.

MPIC owns 99.88 percent of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp (MPTC), which in turn owns 71 percent of Manila North Tollways Corp (MNTC), 46 percent of Tollways Management Corp (TMC), 100 percent of Cavitex Infrastructure Corp, and 7.4 percent of Don Muang Tollway Public Co Ltd.

Based on MPIC’s estimate, the 20 percent stake in MPTC would fetch P16 billion.

The Metro Pacific Group is building the P18 billion road connecting the North Luzon Expressway to the South Luzon Expressway.

The NLEX-SLEX Connector Road, or Segment 10.2, would be integrated to Segment 10.1, a 5.65-kilometer road that starts where Segment 9 ends on MacArthur Highway and stretches all the way to C3 Road.
The Department of Justice recently issued a legal opinion, requiring that the project undergo a Swiss challenge because it was proposed through unsolicited venture.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) had endorsed the joint-venture route to expedite the project. To recall, Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp (MPTDC) earlier sealed a joint venture with Philippine National Construction Corp (PNCC) in a bid to facilitate construction of the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road.

Cavitex Infrastructure Corp is pursuing the construction of the P8 billion C5 Link Expressway Project, which is expected to start by January 2015.

The project involves the C5 crossing the South Luzon Expressway and passing through Merville Subdivision beside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport before connecting to the Cavitex. The project has yet to be approved by the Toll Regulatory Board.

In 2012, MPIC entered into a P6.77-billion financing and cooperation agreement with Cavitex Holdings Inc that may eventually allow MPTC to take 100 percent of Cavitex Infrastructure.

Under the agreement, Cavitex Holdings will issue a convertible note to MPTC, giving it the option to convert the debt to new, non-voting redeemable preferred shares or, subject to certain approvals and conditions, common shares of Cavitex Infrastructure.

The Metro Pacific Group also operates the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway.

InterAksyon.com is the online news portal of TV5, which like MPIC is chaired by Manuel V. Pangilinan.