CONGLOMERATE Ayala Corp. has agreed for forgo the annual grantor payment that it previously sought for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Taguig Integrated Terminal Exchange (ITX).

Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said this would result in “P9 billion” savings on government funds, or about P277 million in grantor payments annually.

To recall, Ayala Land Inc. sought for P277 million in annual grantor payments for 35 years when it bid for the P4-billion Integrated Terminal System-South contract in 2015.

Tugade added he managed to have Ayala officials waive the said fee.

“Let’s find ways how we can stop the practice and paradigm of government paying the private sector royalty grounds as they operate terminals,” he said.

According to Tugade, discussions for the possible waiving of the fee started last year when he also convinced Ayala to share 2 percent of the facility’s income to the government.

“From the start of its commercial operation, until the end of the concession agreement, Ayala will share 2 percent of their income from the commercial spaces in favor of the government,” he said.

The said deal was part of the Aquino administration’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Program. It was then adopted by the “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program of the Duterte administration, and was rebranded as Taguig ITX.

The facility is envisioned to be a six-story building on a 5.57-hectare property inside the Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) compound. It will house a passenger concourse, a centralized ticketing area and several business and retail establishments.

It will have a provision for 1,200 public utility buses and vehicles’ bays and parking.

Upon its completion, Taguig ITX is expected to house around 4,000 buses and accommodate up to 160,000 passengers daily.

The facility will also feature a pedestrian walkway connection to the Philippine National Railways FTI station and the proposed subway system.

Construction of the Taguig ITX is scheduled for the second half of 2018 and is expected to start operation by the first half of 2020.

By Lorenz S. Marasigan
Published January 17, 2018