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MVP firm prepares P35-B NLEx-SLEx road project

Manny Pangilinan. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines—Metro Pacific Investments Corp. aims to complete a P35-billion connector road that will link the North and Luzon Expressways by December 2015 after getting Malacañang’s approval for the unsolicited proposal to proceed alongside another connector road to be built by the San Miguel-Citra tandem.

At the sidelines of MPIC’s annual stockholders meeting on Friday, company chair Manuel V. Pangilinan told reporters that his recent meeting with President Benigno Aquino and government economic managers was “productive.”

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The administration officials, Pangilinan said, announced that MPIC and the San Miguel-Citra group could go ahead with their respective connector road projects.

“I believe it’s a significant step forward, and we’re pleased that we can now proceed,” Pangilinan said.

But because MPIC’s proposal was unsolicited, it would go through a Swiss challenge whereby other bidders would be invited to submit a better offer.

But as the original proponent, MPIC will have the right to match the best offer during such a challenge.

MPIC’s proposed connector road, which will link North Luzon Expressway to the Skyway that starts in Buendia, will have three segments:

  • Segment 9 from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to Valenzuela City;
  • Segment 10 from Valenzuela City and MacArthur Highway in Bulacan to Harbor area in Manila; and,
  • A connector road from Harbor road in Manila to Buendia.

Pangilinan’s group has committed that a segment will be completed each year.

He said Segment 9 should be finished by September 2013, while Segment 10 would be completed by the end of 2014.

The third segment is targeted for completion by December 2015, he added.

The P35-billion project cost, Pangilinan said, already included the cost of obtaining right-of-way during the alignment.

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The construction alone will cost P28 billion.

“So the expectation from our side is that the government will take care of appropriation rights of P7 billion. We’ll take care of P28 billion,” Pangilinan said, adding that his group would thus effectively be taking care of 80 percent of project cost while government would bear the remaining 20 percent.

The group’s connector road will have a three-kilometer common area with the alignment proposed by the SMC-Citra group.

Asked about the dispute between two government agencies on the air rights affecting part of MPIC’s connector road alignment, MPIC president Jose Ma. Lim said the government had already taken steps to take control of the air rights needed to pursue the project.

“We’ll just have to negotiate with them on the cost of using those air rights,” Lim said.

As for claims that MPIC’s proposed connector road would affect a lot of existing physical structures, Pangilinan admitted that this was indeed the case, noting that there was even a cemetery along the route.

“I think you have to look at it from the vantage point of the greater good. Otherwise, if you won’t move people out, you will never get any of the toll roads built,” Pangilinan said.

Lim added that the alignment of the proposed connector road would have “minimal” damage to existing structures and development because this would run mostly through open areas.

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