DOTC moves to address San Miguel-MIPC row

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The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has come out with a compromise solution to the issue on the funding of the shared portion of two separate roads that will link highways north and south of Metro Manila.

The issue had put two of the country’s top conglomerates—San Miguel Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.—on a collision course that threatened to delay the implementation of their respective projects both seen as cornerstones of the Aquino administration’s economic agenda.

San Miguel Corp., through subsidiary Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp. (CMMTC), plans to extend the Metro Manila Skyway from Buendia, Makati to Balintawak, Quezon City, creating a nearly-seamless link with North Luzon Expressway.

MPIC, for its part, has a pending proposal to connect the NLEx with the Skyway via an alignment that follows the existing Philippine National Railways line from Tondo, Manila to Makati.

MPIC, through Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., holds the concession to NLEx, while CMMTC holds the concession to the Skyway.

Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya this week said the compromise deal would be incorporated in CMMTC’s revised concession for the Skyway. The deal will also be part of the Department of Public Works and Highways “Swiss” challenge for MPIC’s proposed connector road.

CMMTC’s planned project is part of its original concession deal for the Skyway. MPIC’s project, however, is an unsolicited proposal to the government and will, therefore, have to undergo a “Swiss” challenge, where other interested parties will be given the chance to submit better offers.

Abaya declined to give further details on the compromise deal. Officials from both CMMTC and MPIC were not available for comment to confirm if the concerned parties had accepted the government’s compromise proposal.

Worth about P7 billion, the 5-kilometer extension will be shared by Citra and MPIC, before their respective connectors veer off to their separate alignments.

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