MPIC pressing SCTEX agreement

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METRO Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC) expects President Benigno Aquino 3rd to approve the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) concession before the end of the year.

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A top official of MPIC said that the Palace should approve the concession agreement for the long-term operation of the SCTEX by the Metro Pacific Group.

“We have expressed to the [state-run] Bases Conversion and Development Authority [BCDA] that we would like the delays in the implementation of our agreement with them to be curtailed, and for them to implement it,” said Jose Ma. Lim, president and chief executive officer of MPIC.

He added that, “We believe that the requirement of the approval of the President is based on the TRB [Toll Regulatory Board] requirement, which has nothing to do with the commercial terms of the project and therefore as far as qualifications of MPTC [Metro Pacific Tollways Corp.] and Manila North Tollways Corp. [MNTC] are concerned, BCDA should have no problem with that. After all, they prequalified our company in the public bidding which failed and was negotiated into this contract,” he added. MPTC and MNTC are subsidiaries of Metro Pacific Investment.

The official added that the contract has been renegotiated two times and is now on its third year. Lim said that as far as the concession is concerned, MPIC believes that it is on track and it is really up to the BCDA to explain to the Office of the President that in so far as the approvals that are needed, the company should have no problem in obtaining that. Hence, there would be no problem in implementing the signed agreement.

“BCDA has recommended it to the Office of the President. As far we know, the DOF [Department of Finance] also supports the commercial terms,” Lim said.

The official also said that, “We met with BCDA last week and we called on them to expedite the process. They have not responded.”

A DOF review of the contract is necessary, because the construction of the SCTEX was financed by a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

MNTC bagged the SCTEX contract during the Arroyo administration. The company renegotiated the contract in 2011, but the Aquino administration has yet to approve the concession because of concerns on revenue sharing raised by the DOF.

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