Aquino: Revenue-sharing sticky issue in SCTEx deal

Rappler.com
President Benigno Aquino III says he has yet to sign the SCTEx concession agreement with Manila North Tollways Corp as they are still reviewing the provision on revenue-sharing

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III said Wednesday, October 17, he has not yet signed the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) concession agreement with Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) as they are still reviewing the terms.

“We are reviewing the revenue-sharing in the proposal of the SCTEx,” he told reporters in a forum organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines.

The MNTC, chaired by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, won in November 2010 the 25-year contract to operate and manage (O&M) the 94-kilometer expressway.

But the formal turnover of the O&M to MNTC will only happen after securing the approval of the President.

The signing of the O&M contract hit a snag after disagreements between MNTC and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) ensued due to last-minute changes introduced by then BCDA chair Aloysius Santos to the contract’s terms.

Under the original agreement, MNTC would pay concession fees to government for the first 6 years to pay off a Japanese loan taken out to build SCTEx. After this, MNTC would be awarded by the BCDA a 20% share of revenues from road operations.

Talks on the terms continued until a new BCDA management, headed by current chair Felicito Payumo, took over.

The MNTC said it has submitted an “improved” offer to the BCDA for the expressway.

“We hope the BCDA will find it favorable and endorse it to Malacañang for approval,” said MNTC chief finance officer Christopher Lizo.

The MNTC said the government should honor the agreement to keep the confidence of private investors in its infrastructure projects. – Rappler.com

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