A UNIT of the Metro Pacific Group led by businessman Manny Pangilinan is set to sign the concession agreement for one of the government’s biggest public-private partnership (PPP) undertakings, the Cavite Laguna Expressway (Calax) project, on July 16.
The 45-kilometer toll road project will connect the provinces of Cavite and Laguna.
MPCALA Holdings Inc., a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC), the toll road arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), is expected to sign the concession agreement on Calax next week. MPIC is the infrastructure investment holding company of the Metro Pacific Group.
“We are ready to sign,” MPTDC president Ramon Fernandez earlier said in a text message.
A Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) official confirmed that the notice of compliance has been sent to MPCALA on June 30 and that the company received it on July 5.
Ariel Angeles, officer-in-charge and director of the PPP service of the DPWH, said that under Build-Operate-Transfer Law, “they have five days to sign the contract upon the receipt of the notice and pay 20 percent of the concession fees. So they have until Friday or Saturday to sign the contract and pay P5.46 billion.”
MPTDC offered the highest bid of P27.3 billion for the Calax project, besting by about P5 billion the rival bid of San Miguel Holdings Corp. (SMHC), which submitted a premium bid of P22.2 billion.
The premium bids come on top of the toll road’s estimated cost of P35.4 billion. In last month’s bidding—the second for the project after last year’s bidding failed—the government set a P20.1 billion floor premium bid for Calax. Rosalie C. Periabras
DPWH Undersecretary Rafael Yabut earlier said the Calax bidding “is the biggest single revenue premium that a government agency has generated. Any road development always spurs development, entire community development.”
Jose Ma. Lim, president and chief executive officer of MPIC, said “We have been observing the population growth in both Cavite and Laguna and we believe it is higher than the national average, about 50 percent higher than the average. There are about 3 million people in Cavite and 2 million in Laguna.”
The Calax project will start from the Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) in Kawit, Cavite and end at the Mamplasan interchange of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) in Binan, Laguna.
MPTDC said that in line with this project, the company is hoping they will grow a little faster than the industry.