AS the biggest construction company in Southeast Asia, the Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC) has assisted the government in the development of its roadway and industrial projects for 51 years now.
Founded in 1966, the PNCC has been a reliable associate in the construction of some of the most significant Philippine infrastructures such as the San Juanico Bridge, Metro Manila Skyway, Manila Light Rail Transit System, and Manila-Cavite Expressway.
Apart from aiding the government in the completion of architectural structures and thoroughfares scattered all over the country, the corporation had also operated in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
The PNCC also played a role in bringing the tangible benefits of urbanization to the neighboring provinces of Metro Manila, which led to safer, faster and more convenient tollway travel.
Today, the corporation continues to perform its duty as a joint venture partner in the development of tollway extensions to link the South Luzon and North Luzon.
Before it bloomed as the largest construction firm in Asia, the PNCC was originally incorporated as the Construction Development Corporation of the Philippines (CDCP). In 1977, CDCP was granted to operate, construct, and maintain Luzon’s toll facilities for 30 years.
In May 1977, the said roadways had been called the North and South Luzon Tollways and were operated under the charter granted to CDCP, which expired in April 2007.
In 1981, the National Development Company (NDC) invested a sum of P250 million in CDCP to strengthen the financial structure of the corporation.
Two years later, the corporation was given a new name (Philippine National Construction Corporation) in order to reflect the magnitude of its equity investment.
In the same year, the government was granted a majority shareholding in the PNCC, which was accompanied by an increase in its capital. From 1987 to 2001, the corporation was able to implement selected construction projects but these projects eventually resulted in losses.
Earlier in 1995, PNCC entered into joint venture agreements that led the division of the Tollways into three portions: the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), the Skyway, and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).
According to the PNCC, the objective was to improve the operation and maintenance of the tollways. The corporation had 20 percent shareholding in the operation of the NLEX, which was turned over to the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) in 2005.
However, the PNCC’s inability to respond to capital calls had limited its participation to 2.5 percent in MNTC. Since 2002, the corporation had refrained from engaging in the construction business and focused on the operation and maintenance of its tollways.
For the South Luzon Tollways, the PNCC entered into a partnership with Indonesia’s PT Citra Lamtoro Gung Persada to build the elevated toll road or Skyway System from Nichols in Taguig City to Alabang, Muntinlupa. The partnership also aims to upgrade the portion to the same stretch.
Meanwhile, from Alabang to Calamba stretch, the PNCC entered into a joint venture agreement with the Malaysian Corporation, MTD Manila Expressways Inc. MTDME), under the corporate name of South Luzon Tollway Corporation (SLTC).
The agreement included the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Alabang viaduct, the expansion and rehabilitation of the Alabang to Calamba segment, and the construction of a 7.8-kilometer toll road extension from Calamba to Sto. Tomas, Batangas.
With its task to carry out contracting businesses with private companies and government institutions, the PNCC has prospered its specialization in designing, constructing, and expanding of buildings, roads, sidewalks, highways, bridges, dams, and public markets, among others.
Aside from its involvement in iron, steel, concrete, stone, cement masonry and earth construction, the corporation also enters into manufacturing building materials, equipment, and other supplies.
Partnership with SMC
Meanwhile, earlier this year, conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), through its infrastructure arm San Miguel Holdings Corp. (SMHC), partnered with the PNCC to begin a P554-billion toll-road expansion project.
The agreement also includes the projects: Tanauan-Tagaytay Expressway or Sky 8; TR5, which extends the SLEX from the end of TR4 in Pagbilao, Quezon to Matnog, Sorsogon; Sky 7, connecting Taguig City to Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City; Buendia Interchange and Ramp Extension to Macapagal Boulevard and Sky 9 (Pasig River Alignment); and ramps to Buendia, Pioneer and Bonifacio Global City.
Confirming the partnership, SMC President and COO Ramon Ang said in a statement that a good transport system was crucial for a dynamic, job-creating economy.
“We need to fast-track infrastructure spending to significantly improve investment into the Philippines. Good roads, good airports, good ports–all of these were needed yesterday,” he said.
“San Miguel and our long-time partner, PNCC, are committed to do everything we can to deliver the infrastructure projects that fall within our concession agreement,” he added.
According to PNCC President and CEO Mario Espinosa, the toll road will stretch more than 388 kilometers and link the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and then Sorsogon.
“PNCC is looking forward to exploring with SMHC the possible stretches, linkages and extensions that can be built from the tollroads of our existing joint venture companies,” Espinosa said.
He added that the starting point of the toll road was in Lucena, Quezon, which will be connected to Metro Manila once SMC develops the 57-km TR4 extension of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx).
“This augurs well for the recent extension of PNCC’s corporate life by another 50 years, which was directed by President Rodrigo Duterte,” he added.
According to Ang, both parties were committed to speeding up the process of prioritizing and constructing identified projects. He also said the construction of the extension of SLEX, Skyway Stage 3 and C6 were set to start within next year.
These extensions aim to create an entire seamless network of roads and expressways connecting Metro Manila to neighboring provinces, he said. “We will operate, between us, the most extensive network of Philippine tollways.”
Ang added that San Miguel and PNCC were willing to lend their support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for greater private investment, which can pave way for a Golden Age of Infrastructure in the Philippines.
“Within the next year or so, we hope that work can begin on the extension of SLEX, Skyway Stage 3 and C6. We have within our agreement all the extensions that will help us create an entire seamless network of roads and expressways connecting Metro Manila to neighboring provinces. We will operate, between us, the most extensive network of Philippine tollways,” he added.