Ayala eyes infra proposals to help ease Metro traffic

Chrisee Dela Paz

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Ayala eyes infra proposals to help ease Metro traffic
'Our mandate is look for an area where we can do something to alleviate the difficulties, the pain points, and the congestion,' says Rene Almendras, chief of AC Infrastructure Holdings

MANILA, Philippines – The infrastructure arm of Ayala Corporation (AC) plans to submit unsolicited proposals for infrastructure projects to address traffic and other “pain points” in Metro Manila.

Former cabinet secretary Rene Almendras, president and CEO of AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, bared the company’s plans at a media roundtable in Makati City on Wednesday, December 14.

“We have a few projects. Some are unsolicited. We’re looking at hotspots. Our mandate is not to look at nice projects to make money on; our mandate is look for an area where we can do something to alleviate the difficulties, the pain points, and the congestion,” Almendras said.

Other than bagging 4 of the awarded public-private partnership (PPP) deals, AC Infrastructure has expressed interest in bidding for the P74.6-billion deal to develop the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The Ayala Group, which formed a “superconsortium” with various partners, had also been prequalified in the P123 billion ($2.75 billion) Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike project and the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT2) O&M project. (READ: 5 failed, shelved PPP projects under Aquino admin)

Metro Manila’s ‘pain points’

Almendras also said AC Infrastructure is “aligned” with the government plan.

“The projects that we’re going to propose is completely aligned with that of the DOTr (Department of Transportation); there is a master plan of sorts. The mandate is we have an infrastructure shortage, and because of that, we have hotspots and pain points, so we’re using that to identify and prioritize our activities,” he added, but did not give further details.

Almendras said among Metro Manila’s so-called “pain points” are the East Avenue-P. Tuazon route in Quezon City and across the Pasig River.

With the country facing a significant infrastructure gap, the company committed to invest $1 billion in equity over 5 years.

The Ayala Group has a stake in 4 of the 9 PPP projects worth P135.5 billion ($3.05 billion) awarded by the Aquino administration.

Its partnership with infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings Philippines through the Light Rail Manila Consortium bagged the P65-billion ($1.46 billion) Light Rail Transit line 1 (LRT1) Cavite expansion project.

It also bagged the P2.01-billion ($45.3 million) Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX) and the P1.72-billion ($38.8 million) Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS) project for the LRT and MRT lines through a joint venture with MPIC.

Property giant Ayala Land Incorporated bagged the right to build and operate the P4-billion Integrated Transport System (ITS) South terminal. – Rappler.com

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