Philippine economy

San Miguel eyes SCTEX

Mick Basa
San Miguel eyes SCTEX
The conglomerate and an undisclosed firm seek bidding documents from the Bases Conversion and Development Authority

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Corporation showed interest Tuesday, January 6, in the management, operation, and maintenance of the country’s longest expressway.

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) bought bidding documents from the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the state-run firm which offered to maintain the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) it built in 2005.

An undisclosed company also bought bidding documents.

Nena Radoc, BCDA’s vice president for financial services group, said the undisclosed prospective bidder was represented by law firm Aguirre Abano Pamfilo Paras Pineda & Agustin Law Office.

“They’re undisclosed even to BCDA [but] we already know that there are only few players in the tollways operations management,” Radoc told reporters at BCDA’s headquarters Tuesday.

Price challenge

Under a price challenge, the BCDA is bidding out the rights, interest, and obligations in the management, operation, and maintenance of SCTEX even after the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) won the contract in 2010 under the administration of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

MNTC’s contract, which is valid until 2043, is being reviewed by the Aquino administration over concerns on revenue-sharing.

Rodrigo Franco, MNTC president and CEO, said they are satisfied with the outcome during Tuesday’s pre-selection conference. “The bidders asked a lot of question. We also made our points heard although we still have to write BCDA a letter detailing our concerns,” said Franco in a text message.

BCDA will hold another consultative meeting on January 23.

“The purpose (of the consultative meeting) is to ensure no proponent will be disqualified due to technical reasons such as incomplete documents,” he said.

The deadline for the purchase of bidding papers is January 29.

The infrastructure is a 4-lane divided expressway which passes through Bataan, Pampanga, and Tarlac, and is directly linked to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

MNTC and BCDA are also discussing SCTEX’s toll collection integration with other expressways.

“We want the integration done as soon as possible. We want the integration to happen, if not before or at least as soon as we have this successful partner,” Radoc said.

Integrating SCTEX with other tollroads would make a seamless connection for motorists, she said.  –

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