Business Mirror, 19 December 2013

By Cai U. Ordinario


THE completion of the Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway (Slex) may be moved to September or October next year, on account of the recent changes the government made on the project.

In a briefing on Thursday, PPP Center Executive Director Cosette Canilao told reporters that Ayala Corp. and the South Luzon Tollway Corp. (SLTC) recently signed an agreement that resolves the issue on the link between Daang Hari Road and Slex.

The timetable on the completion of the project largely depends on the completion of the right-of-way Acquisition to be undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

“The next move, now that the agreement has been signed, is for the DPWH to buy the remaining right-of-way,” Canilao said. “[The project should have been completed] by June 2014. Now, it depends on how fast the right of way can be acquired, as well as the completion of other project milestones. The private proponent said maybe now that the agreement has been signed, the project may be completed by September or October—still within 2014.”

Canilao said that while the changes in cost of the project have not yet been finalized, the agreement already takes into consideration the need to accommodate the future plans of the SLTC to expand the Slex in order to decongest the toll road.

This plan will necessitate the expansion of the Daang Hari road to six lanes instead of only four lanes, as stated in the initial project document. This will require “right-of-way acquisition” on the part of the government.

The Daang Hari-Slex project was the first public-private partnership (PPP)  project bidded and awarded under the Aquino PPP initiative. The project starts from the junction of Daang Reyna and DaangHari in Las Piñas/Bacoor, Cavite to Slex through the Susana Heights Interchange in Muntinlupa, traversing the New Bilibid Prisons Reservation.

Under the initial design, the proposed link-road will use the Susana Heights Interchange as exit and entry from north and south of Slex and will include the construction of a new bridge/widening of the existing bridge crossing Slex as well as the expansion of the Susana Heights toll plaza.

The P2.01 billion-worth project was awarded to Ayala Corp. in 2011. The project is being implemented by the DPWH under a Build-Transfer-Operate (BTO) scheme.