MANILA, Philippines – The tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) secured the P23.2-billion deal to build, operate, and maintain a toll road connecting the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), after no investors tried to outdo its offer.
MPIC told the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Tuesday, July 26, that the bids and awards committee (BAC) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to award the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road to its subsidiary Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation (MPTDC).
This was after no comparative proposals were submitted to the DPWH on Monday, July 25 – the deadline set by the agency.
“In view of the foregoing, the BAC issued a recommendation to award the Project to Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation,” MPIC told the PSE.
MPTDC president and CEO Rodrigo Franco told Rappler that his company “expects to receive the notice of award before the end of the month.”
Changes in mode of implementation
In February 2015, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board ruled that MPIC’s connector road offer should be bid out via Swiss challenge.
Swiss challenge is the course the government takes when dealing with unsolicited proposals, which requires an invitation to make competing offers while giving the original proponent the right to match them.
Franco said in a text message that the construction cost his company has earmarked is P15.74 billion, while the government will pay P7.64 billion for right-of-way acquisition.
MPTDC first submitted an unsolicited proposal in 2010 for the connector road.
On January 21, 2014, it signed a joint venture agreement with state-run Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC) – the holder of the NLEX franchise – to build that road.
But months later, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in an opinion on the joint venture proposal that the NEDA Board approval of the agreement between MNTC and PNCC is “without factual basis or justification.”
The MNTC proposal was again subjected to NEDA review.
The NLEX-SLEX Connector Road would link C-3 in Caloocan City to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) campus in Sta Mesa, Manila. Some segments, according to the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center, would run above the lines of the Philippine National Railways.
Because of the changes in the mode of implementation, Franco said implementation of the road deal will be scheduled from November 2016 to February 2022. – Rappler.com
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