MVP group gains headway in NLEx-SLEx road bid
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - The proposals for the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) connector roads are making headway in the approval process at the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
"As far as the execution of both roads are concerned, it has been formally approved by NEDA," said MPTC President and CEO Ramoncito Fernandez at the sidelines of a press briefing on Wednesday, November 7.
Manual V. Panglinan-led MPTC and Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp., which is backed by Ramon Ang-led San Miguel Corp., earlier presented their respective proposals to Malacañang for the NLEx-SLEx connector roads.
There has been no official statement from NEDA on the reported approval, however. Officials of the agency couldn't also be immediately reached for comment.
Until NEDA says otherwise, it is assumed that the project proposals are pending before the NEDA-Investment Coordination Committee (ICC). Once the NEDA-ICC clears the projects, they will be elevated to the NEDA board for final approval.
Swiss challenge, common area
There are two big issues that have to be solved before the project can move forward.
One challenge MPTC must surmount is the Swiss Challenge for its unsolicited proposal for the NLEx-SLEx connector road.
However, Fernandez did not seem fazed. "It's just part of the process… that we should be prepared to face the Swiss Challenge," he said.
The bigger issue is how MPTC and Citra will share the construction of a common area where their roads will overlap before connecting to SLEx.
"The first task is to have a common agreement on the common alignment so we can execute what the president wants," said Fernandez.
President Aquino has been vocal that he wants to drive on the NLEx-SLEx connector road while he is still president.
MPTC's Fernandez thinks that goal is achievable if the government moves quickly. "It will be very difficult (to finish the road be before the end of the president's term) if we delay further any of the decisions," he said. - Rappler.com