Jul 082013

MANILA, Philippines – Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is expected to kick off the construction of the P15.86 billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Expressway in January next year after inking a concession agreement with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson signed yesterday a concession agreement with SMC chief financial officer Ferdinand Constantino under the Aquino administration’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme.

The signing was witnessed by DPWH Undersecretary Rafael Yabut, DPWH assistant secretary Maria Catalina Cabral, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center deputy executive director Ferdinand Tolentino, and SMC treasury infra head Raoul Eduardo Romulo.

“The NAIA Expressway project exemplifies the extreme support and confidence of private sector in helping pursue development infrastructure plans and programs of the government through PPP,” Singson said in a statement.

The 7.15 kilometer four-lane NAIA Expressway project is a strategic part of the envisioned Metro Manila Urban Expressway System to be built around a network of expressways serving Metro Manila.

The project valued at P15.86 billion would provide access to NAIA Terminals 1, 2, and 3 linking the Skyway in the South Luzon expressway (SLEX) and the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway (Cavitex).

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It would also support the development of the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) Entertainment City located along the Manila Bay reclamation area. It will connect all three terminals of the NAIA Complex and ease the flow of traffic to and from the airport.

The project involves the improvement of Phase 1, the construction of Phase 2, the construction of at-grade feeder roads leading to and from Pagcor Entertainment City, and the operation and maintenance.

The first phase of the road project was completed by SMC’s Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp. through the construction of an off-ramp that leads to the front of the NAIA Terminal 3.

Singson said the civil works for Phase II-A between the Entertainment City and NAIA Terminals 1 and 2 would start January next year and will be completed by March 2015 while the detailed engineering design for the project is still ongoing.

The DPWH chief added that the construction period for Phase II-B from Domestic Road to NAIA Terminal 3 at Sales St is between April next year and September 2015.

It would be recalled that SMC’s Optimal Infrastructure edged the P305 million submitted by Manila North Tollways Luzon Corp. (MNTC) of publicly-held infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) last April 15.

DPWH issued a Notice of Award to SMC last May 6 and the diversified conglomerate paid the upfront cash payment of P11 billion to DPWH last June 5 for the project that was approved by the National Economic Development Authority Board in May of 2012. –With Evelyn Z. Macairan

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