SOURCE:  BusinessWorld Online

THE FIRST public-private partnership (PPP) projects to be offered by to investors will be formally announced today as the Aquino administration inaugurates an office dedicated to managing its centerpiece program.

Two Metro Manila light railways will be up for privatization and three expressway contracts will also be up for bidding, Transportation Undersecretary Ruben S. Reinoso, Jr. told BusinessWorld.

Operation and maintenance contracts for the Light Rail Transit-1 (LRT-1) and the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3) lines will be up for sale, he said. The road projects to be declared “open for bidding,” meanwhile, involve the linking of the Daang Hari Road and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx), another link between the SLEx and the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), and the second phase of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) expressway, Public Works Secretary Rogelio L. Singson said.

The projects, which will cost a total of P47.19 billion, will be spearheaded by the Transportation and Public Works departments as implementing agencies, said Claro P. Fernandez, chief of the central bank’s Investor Relations Office.

Mr. Reinoso said, “They (the five projects) are the ones ready to be marketed and advertised” among the 10 slated PPP undertakings this year. Final bidding dates will “depend on market reaction” to the projects, he added.

According to the PPP website (, the LRT-1 and MRT-3 auctions aim to transfer “operation and maintenance” to the private sector within three to four years. The LRT-1 deal comes with a P7.7-billion price tag while that of the MRT-3 is P6.3 billion.

The Daang Hari-SLEx link, which will cost P1.6 billion, is a 3.68-kilometer road that will pass through the New Bilibid Prison reservation and connect Bacoor, Cavite to the South Luzon Expressway near the Susana Heights area.

The NAIA Expressway phase two project, meanwhile, will “link Skyway and the Manila-Cavite Coastal Expressway” to provide “additional access to NAIA Terminals 1, 2, and 3.” It will cost P10.59 billion.

The NLEx-SLEx link costing P21 billion, lastly, includes the construction of an “elevated expressway” over the Philippine National Railway right of way which “starts at Caloocan City and ends at Makati City,” the website states.

Mr. Singson said auctions for the Daang Hari-SLEx link and the NAIA expressway projects are being eyed “by May”. No dates have been set for the NLEx-SLEx undertaking given an unsolicited proposal that will have to undergo a Swiss challenge, he added.

The government will announce timelines for each of the five projects during today’s launch of the PPP Center in Makati, Mr. Fernandez said.