Posts Tagged ‘NLEX-SLEX Connector Road’

Bid invitation for NLEx-SLEx connector road expected in June

THE GOVERNMENT will open the door in June to companies that intend to outdo Manila North Tollways Corp.’s (MNTC) P18-billion offer to link the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEx), officials from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said on Tuesday.

This follows the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board’s decision in February to move forward with the unsolicited proposal, which involves the construction of an elevated road connecting the two expressways.

MNTC is the tollways unit of infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) that currently operates NLEx and had long been seeking to connect that expressway to the southern corridor exiting Metro Manila.

“That was already approved by NEDA Board, so now we can publish ITB (invitation to bid) within the year,” DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson said on the sidelines of Euromoney’s Philippine Investment Forum in Makati City on Tuesday.

Asked for more details, Ariel C. Angeles, officer-in-charge and director of the Public-Private Partnership Service of DPWH, said in a mobile phone reply: “We hope to publish in June. We are just sorting out some terms with MNTC.”

In February, the NEDA Board ruled that the contract should be bid out via Swiss challenge — the course the government takes when dealing with unsolicited proposals, which requires an invitation to make competing offers while giving the original proponent the right to match them.

MNTC first submitted an unsolicited proposal in 2010 for the connector road, and on Jan. 21 last year, signed a joint venture agreement with state-run Philippine National Construction Corp. — the holder of the NLEx franchise — to build that road.

But several months later, the Department of Justice (DoJ) issued an opinion on the joint venture proposal, saying that the NEDA Board approval of the agreement between MNTC and PNCC is “without factual basis or justification.”

The DoJ opinion also stated that the DPWH, under Section 3 of the Build-Operate-Transfer Law, could proceed with the consideration of the unsolicited proposal.

The MNTC proposal was then again subjected for NEDA review.

“As of now, no companies have expressed interest,” Mr. Singson said, though he noted that absence of interest thus far is no reason not to proceed with a Swiss challenge, “because that’s the legal process.”

Sought for comment, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) President Ramoncito S. Fernandez said on the sidelines of the same event: “We’re ready for the Swiss. We are just waiting for the government to invite proponents. We’ll fight for it.”

The original unsolicited proposal of MNTC involved a 13.5-kilometer elevated road that will connect North and South Luzon expressways, including a five-kilometer common alignment from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) to Buendia Avenue in Makati City.

Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp., which is also pursuing its own proposed connector road project with San Miguel Corp., has already obtained financing for the common alignment portion of the road. The San Miguel group’s P26.5-billion Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project is a six-lane 14.8-kilometer expressway, from Buendia Avenue in Makati City to Balintawak in Quezon City, connecting the SLEx to NLEx.

Malacañang approved the contract for the Skyway Stage 3 project in September 2013.

The NLEx-SLEx connector road would link C-3 in Caloocan City to the PUP campus in Sta. Mesa, Manila. Parts of the segment would run above the lines of the Philippine National Railways.

MPIC is one of three major Philippine units of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Philex Mining Corp. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld.

Business World, 24 March 2015
By Chrisee Jalyssa V. Dela Paz
 

NEDA Board OKs rebidding of Cavite-Laguna expressway

The controversial PPP project is up for rebidding at P20.11B floor price

MANILA, Philippines – The rebidding of the controversial Cavite-Laguna expressway (CALAX) project was approved Monday, February 16, by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board chaired by President Benigno Aquino III.

The P35.4-billion ($799.38 million) project, with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as implementing agency, will undergo a revamped procurement process in June 2015, after the government learned its lessons from a previous bidding mired in controversies.

CALAX is a 47-kilometer expressway project which connects Bacoor and Kawit in Cavite and South Luzon Expressway areas.

The NEDA Board also approved the new floor price of P20.1 billion ($453.89 million*), the same as the submitted bid of San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) Optimal Infrastructure Development Incorporated. SMC subsidiary was disqualified last year due to a non-compliant bid security.

Team Orion, the 50-50 joint venture between Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Incorporated and Aboitiz Equity Ventures, the highest bidder at P11.66 billion ($263.30 million).

The SMC said its unit was fully compliant with the bid requirements for the toll road project as ANZ Bank issued a certification that the company’s bid security is valid until November 29. 2014. The diversified conglomerate brought the case to the Office of the President, which later ruled in favor of the conglomerate and offered a rebidding.

Team Orion will no longer participate in the rebidding after it expressed disappointment over Malacañang’s decision.

Transportation projects approved

Apart from CALAX, the NEDA Board on Monday also approved 5 other transportation infrastructure projects.

Among the approved projects are:

Panguil Bay bridge project – With the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as implementing agency, it involves the construction of bridge across Panguil Bay, connecting the city of Tangub in Misamis Occidental and the municipality of Tubod in Lanao Del Norte. The project’s total estimated cost is P5.09 billion ($114.94 million) to be fully financed by the government and targeted to be implemented starting this year until 2018.

Phase 1 of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project – This will be implemented by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC). It involves the construction of a 36.7-km narrow-gauge elevated commuter railway from Malolos, Bulacan to Tutuban, Manila.

The NSCR Phase 1 will use the Philippine National Railway’s (PNR) right-of-way with 10 stations and a depot at Valenzuela City. The project’s total estimated cost is P117.30 billion ($2.65 billion) and targeted to be implemented from 2015 with a 35-year operation period starting 2020.

North-South railway project (south line) – This is a public-private partnership (PPP) project of the DOTC, which a total estimated cost of P170.70 billion ($3.86 billion). This project consists of commuter railway operations between Tutuban and Calamba, Laguna; a long-haul railway operation between Tutuban and Legaspi, Albay; branch line between Calamba and Batangas; and an extension between Legaspi and Matnog.

3 PPP projects green lighted

The NEDA Board also approved 2 more PPP projects apart from CALAX.

Expansion of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) project – A DPWH project, the expansion includes from two (one lane per direction) to 4 lanes (two lanes per direction), which entails an estimated government support of P2 billion ($45.18 million).

The full project cost for TPLEX Ultimate Stage is P24.30 billion ($548.91 million) for the design, financing, construction, operations and maintenance (O&M) of the 88.5-km expressway from the terminus of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) in Tarlac City to Rosario, La Union.

The government is slated to return the management, and O&M rights of SCTEX to the Manila North Tollways Corporation, which is obligated to operate and manage SCTEX for 33 years, while relieving the infrastructure owner, Bases Conversion and Development Authority’s (BCDA) debt with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which will mature in 2041.

North Luzon expressway-South Luzon expressway (NLEX-SLEX) connector road project – A project of the DPWH with a total estimated cost of P20 billion ($452.19 million). It will now proceed through unsolicited mode subject to a Swiss Challenge and involves the construction and O&M of a 13.4-km, 4-lane elevated expressway over the PNR right-of-way, which starts in Caloocan City and ends in Buendia, Makati. This will connect the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and SLEX to decongest traffic in Metro Manila.

NEDA Director-General Arsenio M. Balisacan said the projects approved by the Board will support the government’s goal of increasing infrastructure spending to at least 5.1% in 2016.

“We hope that they will be implemented efficiently and effectively,” said Balisacan.

The Aquino administration is hit for its underspending, particularly in vital infrastructure. – Rappler.com

Rappler, 16 February 2015
 

NEDA Board OKs railway project, CALAX rebidding

MANILA, Philippines – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board has approved six projects, including the North-South commuter railway project, as well as the re-bidding of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway project.

“Most of these projects aim to have a more reliable and efficient transport infrastructure system. These are consistent with the government’s thrust to increase investment in connective infrastructure,” Socio Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said.

Malacanang said the NEDA Board, chaired by President Aquino, approved two projects approved under the North-South Railway masterplan — the Phase 1 of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project, estimated at P117.3 billion; and the P170-billion North-South Railway Project – South Line.

Phase 1 of the NSCR project involves the construction of a 36.7-km narrow-gauge elevated commuter railway from Malolos to Tutuban, using the PNR right-of-way with 10 stations and a depot at Valenzuela. This is targeted to be implemented from 2015 with a 35-year operation period starting 2020.

On the other hand, the NSRP- South Line project, a PPP project, is composed of commuter railway operations between Tutuban and Calamba; and long haul railway operations between Tutuban and Legaspi, and on the branch line between Calamba and Batangas and an extension between Legaspi and Matnog.

Also approved by the NEDA Board were the P5.1 billion Panguil Bay Bridge Project and the P6.7 billion Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway project.

The Panguil Bay project involves the construction of a bridge across Panguil Bay, which will connect the Tangub city in Misamis Occidental and Tubod in Lanao del Norte.

On the other hand, the TPLEX project involves the widening of the expressway by two lanes, one lane per direction from Urdaneta in Pangasinan to Rosario in La Union.

CALAX rebidding

The NEDA Board also confirmed its previous approval of the NLEX-SLEX Connector project on an unsolicited mode, subject to Swiss challenge.

The P20-billion NLEX-SLEX Connector Project involves the construction and operation and maintenance of a 13.4 kilometer 4-lane elevated expressway over the PNR right-of-way, which starts in Caloocan City and ends in Buendia, Makati.

Also approved by the NEDA Board was the re-bidding of the CALAX project, with a minimum bid price of P20.1 billion.

The DPWH earlier said the CALAX project bidding will undergo a shorter one-stage process where both technical and financial bids will be open.

The Office of the President issued the decision to rebid the P35 billion project on November 19, 2014, acting on a petition filed by San Miguel Corp.’s Optimal Infrastructure Development.

A consortium led by the Ayala-Aboitiz group, Team Orion, submitted the highest bid for the project in June when it offered P11.65 billion, while San Miguel was disqualified due to a typographical error in its security guarantee.

San Miguel claimed that its bid was P20.105 billion. It then filed a 37-page Notice of Appeal before the Office of the President on June 27.

ABS-CBN News, 16 February 2015
 

Infrastructure projects get green light

FIVE PUBLIC-private partnership (PPP) projects and one other infrastructure venture cumulatively worth P372.82 billion were approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board yesterday.

Communications Secretary Herminio B. Coloma, Jr. said in an e-mail to reporters that PPP projects that got the green light from the NEDA Board, chaired by President Benigno S.C. Aquino III, were the P24.303-billion expansion of Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx); P117.304-billion North-South Commuter Railway Project (NSCR) Phase I; P170.7-billion North-South Railway Project (NSRP) South Line; rebidding of the P35.43-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway Project with a minimum bid price of P20.105 billion; and the Swiss challenge of the P20-billion 8-kilometer North Luzon Expressway (NLEx)-South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) Connector Road, with rate of return increased to 9.93% from the current 8.64%.

The NSCR Project, targeted to be implemented from 2015 and operated for 35 years starting 2020, involves construction of a 36.7-km narrow-gauge elevated commuter railway from Malolos to Tutuban using the Philippine National Railways right-of-way with 10 stations and a depot at Valenzuela City. The project also includes procurement of rolling stock and installation of electro-mechanical systems.

The NSRP South Line — which will run mainly from Tutuban Station in Manila to Legazpi City in Albay — aims to rehabilitate the existing railway “to provide improved transport and logistics services to currently underserved areas and encourage more productive activities,” according to the PPP Center Web site. This project will also involve commuter railway operations between Tutuban and Calamba and long-haul railway operations between Tutuban and Legazpi. Furthermore, it will build branch lines from Calamba to Batangas, and from Legazpi to Matnog, Sorsogon.

The other project approved in the more-than-six-hour NEDA board meeting was the P5.087-billion Panguil Bay Bridge project of the Department of Public Works and Highways, which involves construction of a bridge across Panguil Bay connecting the City of Tangub in Misamis Occidental and the Municipality of Tubod in Lanao del Norte. This project, regarded as a high-priority development project in Mindanao, is targeted to be implemented from 2015 to 2018.

The Palace official added that funding for the approved projects will come from a combination of sources. “Some will be internally funded, some through loans, and some will have private equity funding,” Mr. Coloma said.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said in a statement “most of these projects aim to have a more reliable and efficient transport infrastructure system to increase investment in connective infrastructure.”

“These projects will support the government’s goal of increasing infrastructure spending to at least 5.1 percent in 2016. We hope that they will be implemented efficiently and effectively,” he added.

With approval by the NEDA Board, Mr. Coloma said these projects can now proceed to rollout stage — involving publication of invitations to prospective bidders — adding that the President also yesterday “directed the Cabinet and the NEDA members to focus on completing similar ongoing projects.”

The other proposed PPP projects that were scheduled to be taken up yesterday — the P378.33-billion Makati-Pasay-Taguig Mass Transit System Loop Project; P13.33-billion Motor Vehicle Inspection System Project; and P1.16-billion Civil Registry System-Information Technology Project Phase II — will be discussed in the next NEDA Board meeting, whose date has yet to be set, Mr. Coloma said.

Nine PPP deals have been awarded since the 2010 launch of this program: P2.5-billion Integrated Transport System-Southwest Terminal project; P17.52-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport Project; P64.9-billion LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension; P1.72-billion Automatic Fare Collection System; P2.01-billion Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway Link Road; P15.52-billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway; P16.28-billion first phase of the PPP for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP); PSIP’s P3.86-billion second phase; and P5.69-billion Philippine Orthopedic Center modernization.

Business World, 16 February 2015
By Imee Charlee C. Delavin
 

NEDA board approves rebid of controversial CALAX PPP

(Updated 7:58 p.m.) The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board chaired by President Benigno Aquino III on Monday approved the re-bidding of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) Project.

The board set a minimum bid price of P20.1 billion for the controversial public-private partnership (PPP) project, which is estimated to cost P35.4 billion.

Last October, Aquino said he was inclined to rebid the CALAX project, saying such a move will “meet the attainment of the goal of getting the best deal for our people.”

CALAX is a 47-kilometer tollway that starts at the Cavite Expressway in Kawit and ends at the Mamplasan interchange of South Luzon Expressway in Biñan. It will have nine interchangesat Kawit, Daang Hari, Governor’s Drive, Aguinaldo Highway, Silang, Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay, Laguna Blvd., Technopark, and a toll barrier before SLEX.

Team Orion, a joint venture of Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., won the bidding for the project.

Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc., a unit of San Miguel Corp., saw its bid disqualified. In response to its query, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson said the company “submitted a defective bid security.”

5 more projects approved

Aside from the CALAX rebidding, five other infrastructure projects were approved by the NEDA Board.

Two more PPP projects were green-lighted: the P2-billion Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) expansion project and the P20-billion NLEX-SLEX Connector Project.

The board also approved the P5.09-billion Panguil Bay Bridge Project, which will connect Tangub City in Misamis Occidental and Tubod town in Lanao del Norte. The project is expected to reduce travel time between these areas from 2.5 hours to 37 minutes.

Two projects under the North-South Railway masterplan were also given the go-ahead. First is Phase 1 of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Project, which involves the construction of a 36.7-kilometer narrow-gauge elevated commuter railway from Malolos to Tutuban.

Second is the North-South Railway Project – South Line, a PPP project with a total estimated cost of P170.70 billion that involves the building of a commuter railway between Tutuban and Calamba, Laguna.

In a statement, NEDA Director-General Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said the approved projects will improve connectivity in Luzon and Mindanao.

“Most of these projects aim to have a more reliable and efficient transport infrastructure system. These are consistent with the government’s thrust to increase investment in connective infrastructure,” he said. – Andreo C. Calonzo/VS/BM, GMA News

GMA News, 16 February 2015
 

Swiss challenge for NLEx-SLEx connector road deal set for Q1

Business World, 11 January 2015
By Chrisee J.V. Dela Paz
 
THE GOVERNMENT will begin seeking bids for a contract to build an eight-kilometer elevated toll road that will link the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) within the first quarter of the year, a Public Works official said over the weekend.
 
The move means other companies would have the chance to beat out the P18-billion offer of the Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC), the tollways unit of infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) that currently operates NLEx and had long been seeking to connect that expressway to the south corridor.

Ariel C. Angeles, officer-in-charge and director of Public-Private Partnership Service of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), said in a phone interview on Saturday that his office is set to “publish the invitation to match MNTC’s Connector Road offer within the first quarter this year.”

The DPWH is just awaiting final approval from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, which is scheduled to meet on Jan. 22, according to Mr. Angeles.

Last month, the NEDA’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee ruled that the contract should be bid out via Swiss challenge — the route the government takes when dealing with unsolicited proposals, by accepting competing offers and giving the original proponent the right to match them.

MNTC first submitted an unsolicited proposal in 2010 for the connector road, and on Jan. 21 last year, signed a joint venture agreement with state-run Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) — the holder of the NLEx franchise — to build that road together.

But seven months later, on July 7, the Department of Justice (DoJ) issued an opinion on the joint venture proposal, saying that the NEDA Board approval of the agreement between MNTC and PNCC is “without factual basis or justification.”

The DoJ opinion also stated that the DPWH, under Section 3 of the Build-Operate-Transfer Law, could proceed with the consideration of the unsolicited proposal.

The MNTC proposal was then again subjected to NEDA review.

“Once it gets NEDA Board approval on Jan. 22, we have 80 days to settle the technical terms of MNTC’s proposal with them, such as the length of the connector road,” Mr. Angeles said over the weekend.

The original unsolicited proposal of MNTC involved a 13.5-kilometer elevated road that will connect North and South Luzon expressways, including a five-kilometer common alignment from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) to Buendia Avenue in Makati City.

Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp., which is also pursuing its own proposed connector road project with San Miguel Corp., has already obtained financing for the common alignment portion of the road. The San Miguel group’s P26.5-billion Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project is a six-lane 14.8-kilometer expressway, from Buendia Avenue in Makati City to Balintawak in Quezon City, connecting the SLEx to NLEx.

Malacañang approved the contract for the Skyway Stage 3 project in September 2013.

“This would leave MNTC with an eight-kilometer connector road,” Mr. Angeles said.

Sought for comment, MNTC President Rodrigo E. Franco said via text message on Saturday: “If that’s the only way to do the project, we have no choice. Our concern is the project will take longer. We lost two years because of the government’s order for us to shift to JV (joint venture) mode. Now, we’re going to restart the unsolicited project with a Swiss challenge.”

SEGMENT 9 OPENS IN MARCH
Under the Supplemental Toll Operations Agreement, the NLEx-SLEx connector road or Segment 10.2 was to 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 C-3 Road.

Segment 9 is a 2.4-kilometer portion linking the NLEx to MacArthur Highway. In a statement released yesterday, MNTC said it has “started the construction of the NLEx Karuhatan Valenzuela Interchange, the last major infrastructure needed to complete the Segment 9.”

“It [Segment 9] is expected to be completed in March this year,” the statement read.

The NLEx connector road would link from C-3 in Caloocan City to the PUP campus in Sta. Mesa, Manila. Parts of the segment will be elevated above the rail lines of the Philippine National Railways.

The three projects would be called the NLEx Metro Expressway Link Project.

MPIC is one of three major Philippine units of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Philex Mining Corp. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld.

MV Pangilinan’s connector road faces further delay

Philippine Daily Inquirer, 08 December 2014
By Miguel R. Camus
 
‘UNSOLICITED PROPOSAL’ TO REQUIRE SWISS CHALLENGE
 
MANILA, Philippines–The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is closing off a joint-venture option with Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. for the latter’s proposed P18-billion Metro Manila “connector road” in a move that will further delay the project that is already a year behind schedule.

Another legal review conducted over the last few months by the government resulted in a decision that the 8-kilometer elevated toll road, aimed at easing congestion in the capital district and increasing access to the port area in Manila, should revert again to an unsolicited proposal.

That move, however, would require a Swiss or competitive challenge as well as another approval from the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), resulting in more time lost before construction can begin.

“We will propose to Neda to go back to the original unsolicited proposal with Swiss challenge,” Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson said in a text message last week. He cited a Department of Justice opinion last July questioning the joint-venture route between Metro Pacific and the state-run Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC).

For the tollroad, it could mean at least six months before construction can start late next year, according to Rodrigo Franco, president of Manila North Tollways Corp., the subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways that operates North Luzon Expressway.

A Swiss challenge in this case means other groups will be allowed to submit offers to build the connector road that seeks to link NLEx and the South Luzon Expressway, bypassing traffic-choked roads within Metro Manila. Under the rules, Metro Pacific has the right to match rival offers to finally win the project.

“We have been advised by DPWH that they are headed toward recommending it [connector road] as an unsolicited proposal,” Franco said in a separate interview.

Franco noted that because the process could add another “six to seven months” before construction could begin, he expected the connector road to be completed in late 2017 to early 2018. Originally, the group was hoping to complete the tollroad before President Aquino steps down in mid-2016.

The delays in this tollroad are mainly because of disagreements within the government on how the project structure should be implemented.

The connector road, which is expected to start at the C-3 road in Caloocan City and end in PUP Sta. Mesa in Manila, was initially submitted as an unsolicited proposal during the previous administration.

Then the transportation department last year pushed for a supposedly faster route—via a joint venture with PNCC, which holds the franchise for both NLEx and SLEx.

Metro Pacific agreed since a similar structure was implemented for the 14.8-km Skyway Stage 3 “connector tollroad” of San Miguel Corp. and Indonesia’s Citra Group. Skyway Stage 3 started construction this year and could be finished as early as 2016.

The joint venture proposal with PNCC ran into trouble after the Department of Justice on July 7 said that the Neda Board’s decision to approve this structure “appears to have been issued beyond its powers and without factual basis or justification.”

It took several more months for the government to confirm that it would not recommend proceeding with the joint-venture option, leading to the present direction of the DPWH.
 

Gov’t: MPIC has last say on NLEX-SLEX connector road

The Philippine Star, 23 October 2014
 
MANILA, Philippines – The government said yesterday Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) would have the last say on how to undertake the P18-billion toll road connecting the North Luzon expressway and South Luzon expressway.

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson said on the sidelines of the Philippine Investment Conference organized by the CFA Society Philippines that MPIC would have the final say on whether to undertake the project under the unsolicited mode or under a joint venture scheme.

“Both are legally possible. They are the proponent and at the end of the day we have to respect what the proponent is saying,” Singson said.

During the last meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, Singson said that President Aquino has instructed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to thresh out the legal hindrances to the connector road.

“In the last discussion among the Cabinet Cluster, we have been asked to finally sort out the legal aspect. Whether it is best on a joint venture or if it follows the original proposal under the Build Operate Transfer Law,” Singson said.

As early as August 2012, the government was supposed to undertake the Swiss Challenge process as stated under the BOT Law. However, the Department of Transportation and Communications (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.

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 1894.

The NLEX SLEX connector project was originally submitted to the DPWH in May 2010 under the BOT Law.

However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a legal opinion last July stating that the project should be reverted back to the unsolicited proposal and should be subjected to a Swiss Challenge.

Under the unsolicited proposal mode, the project would have to be resubmitted to the NEDA Board for approval and interested proponents would have to be given 90 days to submit counter proposals.

Singson said the DOJ opinion allows both options wherein MPIC could undertake the project through the joint venture agreement or via its unsolicited proposal.

“It is up to MPIC and we are in discussions with DOTC and DOJ,” he added.

Singson explained that the DOTC is looking at using the right-of-way of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) wherein the connector road would be above the proposed P167 billion North South railway project from Manila all the way to Legazpi City in Albay.

The DPWH chief clarified that the affected portion of the proposed connector road is only the eight-km segment from the PNR to the common alignment at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa being undertaken by diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) as part of the P26.5 billion Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project.

“This week we should be able to resolve that as the President feels that this project is a solution to the port congestion. We all agreed that is a solution to the port congestion,” he added.
 

NLEX-SLEX connector road won’t be completed within P-Noy’s term

The Philippine Star, 07 October 2014

By Lawrence Agcaoili

 
MANILA, Philippines – Infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) said the P18 billion toll road connecting the North Luzon expressway and South Luzon expressway won’t be completed within the term of President Aquino.

MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the decision of the government to subject the connector road to a Swiss Challenge based on the opinion issued by the Department of Justice would delay the project by at least two years.

“No way we can finish by the time the President steps down. It’s about a two-year delay,” he said.

Pangilinan said MPIC was looking at finishing the connector road within the term of President Aquino.

“We had anticipated finishing sometime middle of 2016 by the time the President steps down. Now it may be completed by middle of 2017 onwards,” he added.

The MPIC chairman said the project would have to be resubmitted by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board for approval.

The Justice department issued a legal opinion last July stating that the project should be reverted back to the unsolicited proposal and should be subjected to a Swiss challenge after deeming the joint venture between MPIC’s Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC) and state-run Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) illegal.

MVP: NLEX-SLEX connector to be delayed beyond Aquino term

Rappler, 07 October 2014

 

Manuel V. Pangilinan, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) chairman, says the project is likely to be completed in mid-2017 because of the Swiss challenge on their unsolicited project proposal

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The P18-billion ($402.21-million*) North Luzon and South Luzon expressway (NLEX-SLEX connector road) will not be ready by 2016, as the proposed Swiss Challenge will delay the target completion within the term of President Benigno Aquino III.

The project is likely to be completed in-2017, following the Department of Justice (DOJ) opinion to subject the proposal to a Swiss Challenge, said Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC).

The DOJ had earlier issued an opinion that the project must go through the process as the joint venture between MPIC’s Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation (MPTDC) and state-run Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC) is illegal.

“We had anticipated finishing sometime middle of 2016 by the time the President steps down. Now [with the Swiss challenge], it may be completed by middle of 2017 onwards,” Pangilinan said Monday, October 6.

The project will be resubmitted by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board for approval.The NEDA Board approved the amendment or extension of the existing joint venture between MPTDC and PNCC, including the supplemental toll operations agreement (STOA) to cover the extension of the franchise of NLEX under Presidential Decree No. 1894.

The NLEX-SLEX connector road project was originally submitted to the Department of Public Works and Highways in May 2010 under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme.

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson confirmed that the proposed connector road would have to be resubmitted to the NEDA Board for approval because the common segment in the original unsolicited proposal would no longer be included.

Singson added that the Swiss Challenge process would likely be completed by the first quarter of 2015. “To be realistic, it might go about 90 days so it might be early first quarter next year,” he said.

The process 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.

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

The project will connect NLEX and SLEX via two roads. Segment 9, worth P1.9 billion ($42.5 million), will connect NLEX to MacArthur Highway in Valenzuela and should be completed in August this year. Segment 10, worth P10 billion ($223.50 million) starts from the Mindanao Avenue exit of NLEX to North Harbor and should be complete by August 2015.

NLEX would be connected to the common alignment at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta Mesa to the P26.5-billion ($592.19 million) Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC). (READ: Why same firms are vying for PH infra projects) – Rappler.com

*$1 = P44.75

P18-B NLEX-SLEX connector road project open to Swiss challenge

The Manila Times, 06 October 2014

By Rosalie C. Periabras

 

METRO Pacific Investment Corp.’s (MPIC) P18-billion North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)-South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) connector road project will be open for bidding after a government decision to subject the proposed four-lane expressway to a Swiss challenge.

Ramon Fernandez, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) president, told reporters that government is indeed returning the project proposal, which will be open to a Swiss challenge.

A Swiss challenge is a form of public procurement that requires a government agency that has received an unsolicited bid for a public project or services to publish the bid and invite third parties to match or exceed it.

“We are disappointed,” Fernandez said, explaining that the project would help solve traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

Earlier, Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) and MPIC signed an agreement for the construction of the connector road under similar terms as the existing MPIC concession rights for the operation of NLEX through the Manila North Tollways Corp (MNTC).

MPIC had proposed a 13.4-kilometer, four-lane expressway from Caloocan City to Makati City that will link the North and South Luzon expressways.

Last March 31, MNTC said that it might raise P10 billion in the fourth quarter this year to help finance the project. The company had cited two options: to create a new joint venture (JV), or to pursue the project using the existing franchise and amend the current Supplemental Toll Operations Agreement (STOA).

The MNTC earlier said that the directive from the government is to do a JV with PNCC.

PNCC holds the franchise for North Luzon Expressway and the South Luzon Expressway, while MNTC holds the STOA for Segment 9 and 10 of NLEX.

Segment 9 is a 2.4-kilometer portion linking the NLEX to McArthur Highway, and Segment 10 is a 5.65-kilometer road from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City going to the North Harbor.

MNTC president Rodrigo Franco, meanwhile, said that the firm is seeking to raise P10 billion after getting the Toll Regulatory Board’s (TRB) approval of the Supplemental Toll Operations Agreement.

The Department of Justice (DOJ), however, ruled that pursuing the project as a joint venture was “without factual basis or jurisdiction,” and called for reinstating the project as an unsolicited proposal subject to a Swiss challenge.

Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson said that the DOJ opinion prompted government to bring the proposal back to the proponent and treat it as unsolicited proposal open to a Swiss challenge.

 

Philippines’ Metro Pacific expects two-year delay for $490 mln toll road

Reuters, 02 October 2014

 

Oct 2 (Reuters) – Manila’s move to open up bidding for a major toll road means the completion of the project will be delayed by up to two years to 2018, according Metro Pacific Investments Corp, the Philippine conglomerate that first proposed the project.

Comments by Metro Pacific, partly-owned by Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co Ltd, come as an inter-agency body prepares to make a final decision on approving the tender process next week. Bidding is expected to take six months.

Metro Pacific first submitted as early as 2011 an unsolicited proposal for the project, saying the 13.5-kilometre (8.4-mile) toll road would require 22 billion pesos ($490 million) to construct.

“No way we can finish by the time the President steps down,” Metro Pacific’s chairman Manuel Pangilinan told reporters.

“We had anticipated finishing it some time in the middle of 2016,” Pangilinan said, referring to the end of the single six-year term of President Benigno Aquino.

The toll road is now expected to be completed late in 2017 or early in 2018.

The project will connect provinces north and south of the capital, effectively bypassing congested roads of Manila.

Last year the government decided Metro Pacific could partner with state-run Philippine National Construction Corp to forego a bid challenge from other interested companies.

However, the Justice department in July recommended that the government treat Metro Pacific’s offer as an unsolicited proposal open to counter bids because a joint venture with the state firm would also be subject to challenges.

Cosette Canilao, head of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center overseeing the development of major infrastructure under the PPP scheme, said the toll road project will need the approval of an inter-agency body headed by President Aquino that will meet next week.

Bidding for the project is expected to be completed six months after the inter-agency’s approval.

Metro Pacific’s president and chief executive Jose Ma. Lim said the company has attracted offers from foreign groups to partner for this project.

“There is interest from other groups, including foreign funds, for our toll road,” Lim said. Metro Pacific also has interests in water utilities, hospitals and power distribution and generation.

 

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Greg Mahlich)

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).