PH 2013 polls delay MPIC deals with govt
MANILA, Philippines - Several transactions of diversified infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) with the government have been delayed due to the 2013 midterm elections, according to an executive.
MPIC president and chief executive officer (CEO) Jose Ma. Lim said the several pending transactions with the government, particularly the revenue-sharing proposal for the Subic-Clark-Tarlac expressway (SCTEx), were temporarily shelved since the government had to focus on the elections.
"The proposal on the toll road was somehow delayed because of the elections. The timing of the elections prevented the government from implementing it," he said during the company's annual stockholders meeting on Friday, May 24.
MPIC toll road unit Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) are temporarily operating and maintaining the 94-kilometer Subic-Clark-Tarlac expressway (SCTEx) but the contract to formalize the deal has yet to be signed with the national government.
Lim was referring to MPTC's 3rd proposal, which states that MPTC would keep 70% of toll and other revenues from the toll road operations while the remaining 30% would go to the government.
Lim said the company is still waiting for the recommendation of the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), which oversees SCTEx, of the proposal to Malacanang.
"We still have to wait for the BCDA and DOF recommendation to the office of the President. Due to the elections, we were not pushing them because we know the administration is preoccupied with election matters," he said.
The proposed changes in the rate rebasing scheme of the conglomerate's water unit, Maynilad were also stalled due to the midterm polls.
"The rate rebasing exercise has not concluded for (Maynilad). In fact, we're just in the middle of it right now. Target is July 1, so if we can get the discussion with the regulator concluded by the month of June, we should be able to do the July 1 implementation," Lim said.
"The rate rebasing exercise should have been concluded last year but got delayed because of the change in the composition of the board of trustees as well as the elections," he added.
Despite the delays, Lim said that, generally, he still expects the company to grow steadily in the coming months.
He cited the growth increase in the conglomerate's units as encouraging signs for the company's performance in 2013. Meralco posted a 9% increase in terms of energy consumption while Maynilad and the toll unit increased 6% and 8%, respectively.
"We're experiencing strong volume growth (in all the units) so if we an get the tariffs up, the tolls up and we fix the Maynilad rebasing exercise then we're looking good this year," Lim said.
Pangilinan-led MPIC has stakes in water, infrastructure, toll roads and power, among others. - Rappler.com