MANILA, Philippines – The government is studying the unsolicited proposal of Ayala Corp. and SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) to build a P25-billion elevated tollroad from Sta. Mesa in Manila (linking Skyway Stage 3) to Mall of Asia in Pasay.

“We just received it, so we’re still studying. It’s in the very early stage,” Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said when asked about the status of the proposal.

He said the proposal is with the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee.

Ayala Corp.’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and SMIC submitted the proposal to design, finance, construct, operate and maintain for a period of 35 years the 8.6-kilometer elevated tollroad to the DPWH in March.

The alignment for the proposed tollroad or C-3 elevated expressway which would complete C-3 (Circumferential Road 3), will start from C-3 Sta.Mesa area, traverse a portion of the Pasig River up to Circuit Makati area, run parallel to South Avenue and then follow Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave, all the way to Mall of Asia complex.

The project’s proposed interchanges will be located in Sta.Mesa, the Circuit Makati, Ayala-Gil Puyat, Roxas Boulevard and the SM Mall of Asia Complex.

As the proposed project would connect to the Skyway Stage 3, AC Infrastructure and SMIC have approached San Miguel Corp. (SMC) to join the consortium.

SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang was earlier reported to have opposed the proposed project as this could be in conflict with its own Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway (NAIAX).

Asked about SMC’s reply to the offer to join the consortium for the C-3 elevated expressway, AC Infrastructure president and chief executive officer Rene Almendras said SMC has said it has other plans. “I think he (Ang) said he’s got other plans. We respect that,” Almendras said.

As to whether the C-3 elevated expressway would compete with the NAIAX, he said the consortium’s proposal seeks to help address congestion in Metro Manila, particularly in EDSA and not to compete with other tollways.

“The inspiration to submit the proposal is really to solve traffic problems. That’s it. We’re not trying to compete with anyone,” he said.

He said the proposal seeks to find a way to decongest EDSA to make it easier for those from the North to go to Mall of Asia and Makati.

09 May 2017
By Louella Desiderio