Business World, 03 November 2014
By Chrisee Jalyssa V. Dela Paz
THE toll road unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has pushed back the target completion date of its proposed P18-billion Connector Road project to 2018 from 2016 due to regulatory issues, MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said.
âGiven where we are, I think we declared that more likely (completion) will be anytime 2018. As we speak today, thereâs no way we could finish by 2016,â Mr. Pangilinan told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Makati City on Monday.
Currently unsettled is the issue of implementing the project through a joint venture with state-run Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC). The other option is to revert to the scheme put forward in the original unsolicited proposal.
The Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), which originally submitted the unsolicited proposal in 2010, said it now prefers a joint venture with PNCC to expedite the implementation of the project.
âWe were asked by the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) and we officially confirmed that if we are to be asked, it will be through a joint venture as the process will be easier. In the end, though, itâs the decision of the government,â Mr. Pangilinan told reporters.
The Connector Road was among those projects that were discussed but not approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board on Oct. 17 as the DPWH and other stakeholders âhave yet to discuss the options,â DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson said via text on Thursday.
The original unsolicited proposal of MPTC involved a 13-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. (SMC), has already obtained financing for the common alignment portion of the road. This would leave MPTC with an 8-kilometer connector road, which âstill needs NEDA Board approval,â Mr. Singson said.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) on July 7 issued an opinion on MPTCâs joint venture proposal, saying that the NEDA Board approval of the agreement between MPTC and PNCC is âwithout factual basis or justification.â
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.
MPTC and PNCC signed their joint venture agreement on Jan. 21, with the change in mode of implementation from the original unsolicited proposal triggering a regulatory review of the project.
Under the Supplemental Toll Operations Agreement, North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway (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 C3 Road. Segment 9 is a 2.4-kilometer portion linking the NLEx to MacArthur Highway. The three projects would be called NLEx Metro Expressway Link Project.
The 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.
SMC-backed Citraâs P26.5-billion Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project is a six-lane, 14.2-kilometer expressway, and is also set to connect the SLEx to NLEx. MalacaĂ±ang approved the contract for the Skyway Stage 3 project in September 2013.
MPIC is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kongâs 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.
InterAksyon, 03 November 2014
By Darwin G. Amojelar
MANILA – Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPIC) prefers pursuing the joint venture route for an expressway that would link the north and south ends of Metro Manila.
“I think we were asked by DPWH to express our preference. So, we met internally, and taken everything into consideration, then we confirmed that it would be in the joint venture,” MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said, referring to the Department of Public Works and Highways.
“In the end, itâs the decision of the government and we will follow the government process,” he said.
Panglinan said the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road is likely to be completed in 2017 or 2018, adding that, “There is no way we can finish it by 2016.”
Business organizations earlier called on the government to expedite the Connector Road to help decongest container traffic at Manila’s ports. The congestion has become a symbol of the country’s infrastructure bottlenecks, and has figured in the latest World Bank report on Doing Business.
The project was delayed after the Department of Justice issued a legal opinion, stating that the decision by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board to pursue a joint venture was âwithout factual basis or jurisdiction.â
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 Department of Transportation and Communications 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.
The P18-billion project will include a five-kilometer common alignment from PUP to Buendia in Makati City that would be financed by Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp, which is separately constructing the P26.7-billion Skyway Stage 3 Project.
The Connector Road involves the construction of a 14.8-kilometer, six-lane elevated expressway that will connect the end of the Skyway in Buendia to Balintawak.
A unit of MPIC, 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.
InterAksyon.com is the online news portal of TV5, which Pangilinan also chairs.
Manila Bulletin, 03 November 2014
By Kris Bayos
The long delayed construction of the North and South Luzon Expressway Connector Road (NLEX-SLEX Connector Road) could be completed between 2017 and 2018 if it will be pursued through a joint venture (JV) with government, according to Manuel V. Pangilinan.
The Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) has officially told the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that it prefers to pursue the P18-billion toll road project through a JV with State-owned Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC).
âWe were asked by DPWH and we officially confirmed (that we prefer) the joint venture. The process would be faster with a JV than with a Swiss challenge,â Pangilinan told reporters yesterday.
The NLEX-SLEX Connector Road project was originally submitted as an unsolicited proposal, subject to a Swiss Challenge, to the DPWH in May 2010 under the Build-Operate-Transfer Law. However, the government later on advised MPTC to enter into a JV with PNCC, which holds the franchise of the NLEX, to fast-track the regulatory processes. But recently, the government dillydallied and eventually threw the ball back to the court of the private proponent.
Due to the regulatory setbacks, Pangilinan said the MPTC could no longer fulfill its target of finishing the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road before President Benigno Aquino III steps down from office in 2016.
âAs we speak today, we thereâs no way we could finish by 2016. Given where we are, I think that more likely (completion of the toll road) will be anytime between 2017 or 2018,â Pangilinan added.
A unit of the Metro Pacific Investment Corp., MPTC holds the concession rights to the 84-km NLEX. Through the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road project, MPTC is proposing to construct a 13.4-kilometer, 4-lane elevated expressway that would connect NLEX and SLEX. The expressway would be built over the Philippine National Railway tracks, and would have exits to Quirino, EspaĂ±a and 5th Avenue (C-3).
MPTC is the controlling shareholder of Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC), which operates NLEX on the governmentâs behalf. MNTC holds 67.1 percent stake at MNTC while PNCC owns another 2.5 percent. Other shareholders include Egis Projects S.A. of France and Leighton Asia Ltd of Australia.
Philippine Daily Inquirer, 03 November 2014
By Miguel R. Camus
P18-B project now more than a year behind schedule
Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. âprefersâ a joint venture with the government as the ideal structure in implementing its proposed P18-billion Metro Manila âconnectorâ tollroad project.
The project is now more than a year behind schedule due mainly to regulatory issues.
Because of disagreements within the government on whether the 8-kilometer tollroad should be a joint venture or be reverted to the original unsolicited proposal route, the Department of Public Works and Highways recently sought MPTCâs say on the matter.
Ramoncito Fernandez, president of MPTC, said in a text message last week the group had already sent a letter to the government âstating our preference for a joint ventureâ with Philippine National Construction Corp.
Public Works and Highways secretary Rogelio Singson said in a text message Friday that the department âstill has to discuss the matter with Justice Secretary ( Leila) de Lima, who was asked by the President to study the options.â
While MPTC had complied with earlier changes that the government had proposed, he noted this route might be faster for the company given that a similar structure was implemented for the 14.8-km Skyway Stage 3 âconnector tollroadâ of San Miguel Corp. and Indonesiaâs Citra Group. Skyway Stage 3.
Like MPTCâs proposal, Skyway Stage 3 would provide a new means of linking MPTCâs North Luzon Expressway with SMC-Citraâs South Luzon Expressway via an elevated tollroad, helping decongest Metro Manilaâs clogged highways.
The Skyway Stage 3 project started construction in early 2014 and is scheduled for completion as early as 2016, the transportation department announced earlier.
âA [ joint venture] has the same laws and provisions used to award Skyway 3 STOA,â Fernandez said, referring to the supplemental toll operations agreement. âI hope (it can be awarded] as fast as TRB or Toll Regulatory Board) awarded Skyway 3.â
The status of MPTCâs connector road, which was proposed before President Aquinoâs term started in 2010, was questioned anew as the National Economic and Development Authority Board did not clear the project last Oct. 17.
The move spells even more delays for the tollroad, which is now expected to be completed sometime in 2017 instead of before President Aquino steps down in 2016.
The joint venture proposal with PNCC ran into trouble after the DOJ on July 7 said the Neda boardâs decision to approve this structure âappears to have been issued beyond its powers, and without factual basis or justification.â
MPTCâs project was initially submitted as an unsolicited proposal, meaning it would be subject to a Swiss or competitive challenge. This was before the transportation department last year decided it would be converted into a joint venture with PNCC, which holds the franchise for NLEX and SLEX.
MPTC is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., whose businesses include power generation, tollroads, water supply and hospital operations.
MPIC, together with Ayala Corp., was recently awarded the P65-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite extension public-private partnership deal.
The Philippine Star, 03 November 2014
By Lawrence Agcaoili
MANILA, Philippines – Infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is awaiting clarification from the government on the delayed P18-billion toll road that would connect the North Luzon and South Luzon expressways.
Rodrigo Franco, president of MPICâs Manila North Tollways Corp. (MPIC), said there is a need for the government to clarify what scheme should be taken for the massive infrastructure project.
âWe need to get clarification,â Franco said.
Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson earlier said MPIC would have the last say on how to undertake the NLEX-SLEX connector road being implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Singson pointed out that MPIC could pursue the joint venture with state-run Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) or subject the unsolicited proposal to a Swiss Challenge.
âBoth are legally possible. They are the proponent and at the end of the day we have to respect what the proponent is saying,â the DPWH said earlier.
For his part, Franco explained that the government should clarify the options available to the company.
âWe have not made a decision as we are not too clear on the options,â he said.
During the last meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board, he pointed out that President Aquino instructed the DPWH to thresh out the legal hindrances to the connector road.
âIn 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,â Singson said.
As early as August 2012, the government was supposed to undertake the âSwiss Challengeâ process as stated under the BOT Law. However, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) recommended that MPICâs Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC) enter into a joint venture agreement with PNCC to expedite the connector road project.
The NEDA board approved the amendment or extension of an 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 being an unsolicited proposal which should be subjected to a âSwiss Challenge.â
Manila Standard Today, 12 June 2014
By Lailany P. Gomez
Metro Pacific Investments Corp. will likely âtake a breakâ from bidding for more government infrastructure projects, if it wins the contract to construct and operate the P35.42-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway, its top official said Wednesday.
Metro Pacific chairman Manuel Pangilinan said the decision to take part in other public-private partnership projects would depend on the result of the auction for the Cavite-Laguna Expressway.
âI think it partly depends on the outcome of the Cala bidding. If we won in the bidding, it would be a big commitment because our bid for the [Light Rail Transit Line 1] is big already, plus, the Cala that is another large project. So we might have to pause and digest those two projects,â Pangilinan said.
AF Consortium, a joint venture between Metro Pacific and Ayala Corp., first won the contract for the P1.72-billion automatic fare collection system.Â The consortium offered the government a premium payment of P1.088 billion.
The AFCS project will complement the P65-billion LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension project, where Metro Pacific and Ayalaâs Light Rail Manila Consortium emerged as the only bidder which offered the government P9.35 billion in concession fee.
The Cavite extension project will extend the existing 20.7-km LRT Line 1 system, which runs from Roosevelt Avenue in Quezon City to Baclaran in ParaĂ±aque, by an additional 11.7 km southward to Bacoor, Cavite.
Rappler, 12 June 2014
Sure to get the LRT Cavite extension project and hopeful to bag the Cavite-Laguna expressway project, the listed company ‘might have to pause and digest those two projects’
MANILA, Philippines â Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) is set to slow down its uptake on public private partnership (PPP) projects to focus on current, major infrastructure developments.
The listed company will instead concentrate on big-ticket projects, like the P65-billion ($1.5 billion) Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite extension project, MPIC chairman Manuel Pangilinan told reporters Wednesday, June 11.
MPIC is also hopeful to win the proposed P35.4-billion ($808.8 million) Cavite-Laguna expressway (Calax) project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
âSo we might have to pause and digest those two projects,â Pangilinan said.
MPIC, through MPCALA Holdings, is one of the 4 pre-qualified bidders for the Calax expressway project.
On Wednesday,Â San Miguel Corporationâs bid for CalaxÂ was disqualified by DPWH for not complying with the bidding rules, particularly on the validity of its bid security, after MPIC and two other bidders raised questions.
MPICâs Calax offer, along with the financial bids of Malaysiaâs Alloy MTD Philippines and Team âOrionâ of conglomerate Ayala Corporation and Aboitiz Group, is scheduled for opening Friday, June 13.
âI think it partly depends on the outcome of the Calax bidding. If we are fortunate enough to win the project, we will have a large commitment because of the LRT-1 project,â Pangilinan said.
Other tollroad projects
On June 5, MPIC-led Light Rail Manila Consortium, theÂ sole bidder, offered P9.35 billion ($43.8 million) to undertake the LRT-1 Cavite extension project.
MPIC leads the consortium with 55% stake; Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, 35%; and Macquaire Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte. Ltd., 10%.
The consortiumâs offer would still have to be scrutinized by the National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) and the NEDA board chaired by President Benigno Aquino III.
Pangilinan added the companyâs tollways units are also pursuing major expansion projects not only in the Philippines but also in Southeast Asia.
âSo the plate of the tollways group is full,â Pangilinan said.
MPIC owns the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC), and Cavitex Infrastructure Corporation (CIC).
MPICâs tollways group operates the 90-km North Luzon expressway (NLEX), the 14-km Manila Cavite toll expressway (Cavitex), and the 88-km Subic-Clark-Tarlac expressway (SCTEX).
MPICâs tandem with Ayala, through the AF Consortium, also bagged the P1.72-billion ($39.2-milllion)automated fare collection systemÂ (AFCS), the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) ticketing project.
The company is also looking at several tollroad projects inÂ Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam, Pangilinan added.Â âÂ Rappler.com