Swiss challenge seen for Metro Pac road project

By Iris C. Gonzales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 31 2012 09:50 AM | Updated as of Aug 31 2012 05:50 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Swiss challenge for Metro Pacific’s NLEX-SLEX connector road project will likely happen in October, the head of the Public-Private Partnership Center yesterday said.

“Most likely, it will be in October,” Cosette Canilao, executive director of state-run PPP Center said yesterday.

She said the proponent of the project would have the right to match any counter proposal to be lodged within 60 days.

“The proponent has the right to match,” she said.

Malacañang announced earlier that the two proposals submitted separately by Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. and San Miguel Corp. can co-exist. The proposed connector will link North Luzon expressway with the South Luzon expressway.

Metro Pacific has proposed to construct a 13-kilometer connector road at a cost of P22 billion starting next year. The project is envisioned to create 7,000 to 8,000 employment opportunities.

Cosete said the Department of Public Works and Highways, the implementing agency of the project and Metro Pacific are now threshing out the terms of reference. This would be subject to the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-ICC)

The connector road project is one of eight projects under the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure program.

Cosete expressed confidence the government would be able to meet its target of rolling out eight PPP projects this year.

“We committed to roll out eight projects this year. We have already rolled-out three. We are still positive we will be able to meet the target,” she said during the briefing of the second quarter national income accounts.

Cosete said rolling out the eight projects would mean that the government is able to announce the invitation to pre-qualify or bid for the various infrastructure ventures.

The PPP program is the government’s much-touted project for infrastructure launched in 2010.

Canilo said the government already bid out the phase one of the $239-million PPP School Infrastructure Project.

Other projects to be rolled out include the $1.4-billion LRT Line 1 extension, the NAIA expressway project, the operations and management contract (O&M) of the Angat Hydro-Electric Power plant in Bulacan, the modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center; the government’s vaccine program and the Cavite-Laguna Expressway project.

So far, the Aquino administration has awarded only one project under the PPP program. This is the P2-billion Daang Hari South Luzon road project, which was awarded to the Ayala group last year.