MANILA, Philippines - The San Miguel Corp.-backed Citra group welcomed the pronouncement of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson that he would recommend to President Aquino the approval of the two elevated toll road projects of the SMC-Citra group and the Metro Pacific Tollway Development Corp. (MPTDC) linking the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).
Saying that the SMC-Cita’s Skyway Stage 3 project MPTC’s NLEX-SLEX Connector road are “two different projects, servicing two different corridors”, Singson found no reason not to approve the two tollway projects.
With the approval of their Skyway Stage 3 project, the Citra-SMC group said they were officially naming their tollroad as the Citra PNCC Alignment-SMC or Skyway CPA-SMC.
The Skyway CPA-SMC is envisioned to be a 14.2-kilometer extension of the integrated Skyway System that Citra will construct from Buendia in Makati City to Balintawak in Quezon City.
SMC-Citra said the alignment was just part of the four-stage, 30-kilometer Metro Manila Skyway project package approved by the government in 1995.
“As such, it is not an unsolicited proposal and should not be subject to Swiss challenge. The Skyway System, also known as Skyway Stages 1 and 2 from Alabang to Buendia, were funded and built by Citra,” the group said in a statement.
The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) technical working group is currently reviewing the proposal. Once review is completed by mid-year 2012, Citra is prepared to implement its concession and construct the project in 30 months.
Citra and SMC formed recently a joint venture firm called Atlantic Aurum, Inc., – 54 percent owned by Citra and 46 percent by SMC – which has secured control over the Metro Manila Skyway, the SLEX, and the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR).
MPTDC is the holding company of listed Manila North Tollways Corp. (MPTC), builder and concessionaire of the 94-kilometer NLEX.
MPTC is the listed tollways firm of the Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) controlled by tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan.
MNTC also currently operates and maintains the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway under an interim operations and management agreement with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
Meanwhile, in support of the cooperative initiative of the Department of Transportation and Communication and the Department of Agriculture to further push the country’s economic progress by promoting agricultural and transportation development in southern provinces, the concession companies and operators of the south toll roads have offered to grant a toll fee discount on the Skyway System, South Luzon Expressway and Star Tollway to haulers/truckers transporting basic commodities, farm and fisheries produce from the south to Metro Manila.