SCTEX maintenance contract returns to NLEX operator

Mick Basa

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SCTEX maintenance contract returns to NLEX operator
The operations and maintenance contract of the country's longest tollway returns to its original proponent, the Manila North Tollways Corporation

MANILA, Philippines – The government is slated to return the management, operation, and maintenance rights of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) to its original contractor after it failed to muster price challengers during the bidding deadline. 

“The notice of award has been approved by the board. We’re going now towards the documentation of the final contract – which should be happening in a month’s time,” Arnel Paciano Casanova, Bases Conversion and Deveopment Authority (BCDA) president, told reporters on Thursday, February 5.

BCDA owns the SCTEX, the country’s longest expressway, which was financed through a P34-billion loan ($771.15 million) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

On January 6, it sold bidding documents to San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and an undisclosed prospective bidder represented by the Aguirre Abano Pamfilo Paras Pineda & Agustin Law Office. 

But the prospective bidders failed to show up on January 30.

BCDA was bidding out the rights, interest, and obligations in the management, operation, and maintenance of SCTEX even after MTNC bagged the contract in 2010, under the administration of former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. 

The incumbent Aquino administration reviewed MNTC’s contract due to concerns over unequal revenue-sharing.

Casanova explained the awarding of the contract to MNTC no longer needs to go through negotiation “because the price challenge has been made in public.”

The original contract hit a snag due to its 80-20 revenue sharing scheme, where only 20% of the revenues from road operations would go to BCDA. 

In April 2013, the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation subsidiary proposed a 50-50 revenue and cost sharing scheme with government for the operation of SCTEX. This is in line with the public-private partnership program. 

MNTC is obligated to operate and manage SCTEX for 33 years, while relieving BCDA’s debt with JICA which will mature in 2041. –


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