MPIC asks gov't to hasten SCTEx turnover
MANILA, Philippines – The tollways arm of Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) wants the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) to speed up the implementation of a two-year-old concession agreement for the takeover of the 94-kilometer Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).
According to MPIC president Jose Ma. Lim, the BCDA and the Department of Finance (DOF) have already endorsed the agreement with Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) to the Office of the President.
He added, "We have expressed to the BCDA that we would like the delays in the implementation of our agreement with them to be curtailed and for them to implement it."
MNTC is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), which in turn is a unit of MPIC. MNTC won the SCTEx concession in 2010 under the Arroyo administration. The concession agreement that is valid until 2043 was placed under review by former Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
The agreement states that the BCDA shall assign the management, operations and maintenance of SCTEx to the MNTC. This includes the government agency's rights in the Toll Operations Agreement and includes the right to collect toll revenues for 25 years, renewable for an additional 8 years.
The agreement was put under review due to concerns raised by the BCDA and DOF regarding the commercial terms.
Lim said that these concerns have already been addressed.
MPTC and MNTC have gone through several revisions of the terms, with the MNTC proposing a 50-50 sharing scheme for the net cash flow of SCTEx operations. In this case, the government will also have to take care of half the operating expenses as well as capital expenditures to maintain the tollroad under a Public-Private Partnership or PPP scheme.
A previous proposal outlined a 70-30 split, where 70% of the toll and other revenues from the SCTEx would go to the MPTC. The remainder would go to the BCDA.
Lim said the takeover of SCTEx will pave the way for a project that will seamlessly connect the tollroad to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx).
"This contract has been renegotiated two times so it is now on its third year and we think that it is now imperative to undertake the integration of SCTEx and NLEx to make it seamless and more convenient to motorists." – Rappler.com