SMC gambles to become PH’s lead toll road operator with massive P554-B budget
Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is next betting big on expressways, announcing on Wednesday it would spend P554 billion in five years to expand its current network, mainly located in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
The plan, according to SMC president Ramon Ang, would help the diversified conglomerate become the country’s largest toll road operator.
SMC already operates the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx), Metro Manila Skyway, Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway, Star Tollway and Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway.
On Wednesday, SMC’s San Miguel Holdings Corp. signed a memorandum of agreement with the state-run Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) to “jointly undertake the expansion of toll roads under their existing joint venture.”
This covered the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, which has already started construction, and the Skyway Stage 4 or C-6. SMC and PNCC are joint venture partners in Citra Central Expressway Corp. and Citra Intercity Tollways Inc., the concession companies of Skyway Stages 3 and 4, respectively.
They said more projects would materialize from this agreement, although details at this stage were scant.
Some of the big ticket items include the San Pedro-C6 Laguna Lake Road, Tanauan-Tagaytay Expressway or Sky 8, the extension of SLEx to Matnog, Sorsogon, Sky 7 linking Taguig to Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, the Buendia Interchange and ramp extension to Macapagal Boulevard and the Sky 9 “Pasig River alignment,” which will have ramps to Buendia, Pioneer and Bonifacio Global City.
“We will operate, between us, the most extensive network of Philippine tollways,” Ang said in the statement.
The only other major toll road operator in the country is Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which controls the North Luzon Expressway, Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway and the Cavite Expressway.
PNCC has the authority to build, maintain and operate the SLEx and Skyway Stages 1, 2 and 3 as well as all extensions from any part of the existing toll roads.
“A dynamic, job-creating economy needs good infrastructure and a good transport system,” Ang said in the statement. “We need to fast-track infrastructure spending to significantly improve investment into the Philippines. Good roads, good airports, good ports—all of this was needed yesterday.”
Ang said SMC hoped to start “within the next year or so” work on extending SLEx, Skyway and the C-6 toll roads.
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