Perennial proponent of new transportation systems, Philtrak Inc., once again is offering a new road system – a walled road parallel to the railway tracks costing P170 billion – to an incoming administration, as it had done from the Cory Aquino administration.

Philtrak once proposed the use of mass rapid transit – a chain of low-slung buses strung together to run within a specified Edsa lane and a road system that is supposed to ring La Mesa dam to connect to Bulacan.

The Philtrak consortium, led by former investment banker Francis Yuseco Jr., submitted the proposal – the first public-private partnership (PPP) project – thru appointed Transport secretary Arthur Tugade during the infrastructure forum held at the University of Asia and the Pacific.

The Integrated Trackways System will run parallel to the present railway tracks running from La Union to the Bicol region. More roads will also be built in Visayas and Mindanao.

Yuseco said the walled road will have access to ports and will transport people, agricultural products and cargoes in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It will be a network of interconnected open tunnels, according to Yuseco, who said the consortium will be asking for the use of 30 meters right-of-way along the entire 1,079-kilometer Philippine National Railway route.

He said the open surface tunnel system will be completely walled-in with regular open slots to allow the entry and exit of specially designed and properly identified passenger vehicles, cargo freight, and farmers and fisher-folks vans.

Yuseco said it is envisioned that the entry and exit of all vehicles in the special road will be managed by a central command post .

The end result of the use of these open tunnels by farmers and fishermen would be absolute freedom from middle men, he said.

“They will finally be able to transport personally their own produce from their respective farm and sea gates to city market stalls. Accordingly, their income will exponentially increase while food prices for the entire country will dramatically decrease,” Yuseco said.

The consortium members are made up of Del Monte Motor Works Corp., Del Monte Land Transport Inc., Micrologucs System Inc., Versatech Engineering Consultants Inc. and Land. Excel Corp. and Philtrak.

Several unfinished PPP projects will be turned over to the next administration for submission of financial bids.

The projects up for grabs are five regional airports valued at P107.64 billion, P18.9-billion Davao Sasa Port Modernization project, P298-million Road Transport Information Technology Infrastructure project (Phase II), Light Rail Transit (LRT) line 2 and the Regional Prison.

Other projects expected to be bid under the Duterte administration are the P170-billion North-South Commuter Rail project, LRT-6 extension from Bacoor to Dasmariñas, Cavite and the rebidding of the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike project.

As of March 3, 2016, PPP Center has awarded 12 projects, three of which are currently operational – the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway worth P2.23 billion, Automatic Fare Collection System for P1.72 billion and PPP for School Infrastructure Phase I.

7 June 2016
By Myla Iglesias