Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) officially inaugurated its Naia Expressway (NAIAEx) project late Thursday evening, following the opening of additional access points.

The 7.7-kilometer project, among the successful public private partnership contracts bid out during the Aquino administration, was bagged by SMC in 2013 through its Vertex Tollways Development, Inc.

Delays, mostly on account of right-of-way delivery, meant the expressway opened only in September last year or already under the term of President Duterte. It was immediately cited for its impact in cutting road congestion around Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport complex.

SMC said the NAIAEx was serving some 80,000 motorists per day while providing access to all Naia terminals from the Skyway, Cavite Expressway and other major roads with its 14 on and off ramps.

Recently, SMC opened toll plazas in front of Villamor and Resorts World Manila, marking the start of full operations.

“I am very proud to say that over the last seven years, our company has become one of the most active players in the Philippine infrastructure sector,” said SMC president Ramon S. Ang in an event attended by Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

SMC won the project after offering an P11-billion premium payment, which was on top of the P15-billion construction cost, edging out sole rival Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

“That’s a lot of money and, by our estimate, we expect to recover our investment in about 20 years. But we wanted to do this to help and do our share in nation-building,” Ang said.

03 June 2017
By Miguel R. Camus