By: Miguel R. Camus - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer
Gov’t agency reviewing details of proposed expressway extension
An elevated toll road linking Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig and Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport might soon be underway.
Alex Bote, who heads the Public Private Partnership (PPP) service of the Department of Public Works and Highways, said in an interview that San Miguel Corp.’s offer to extend its Naia Expressway project all the way to BGC was currently being studied.
“It’s already been submitted,” Bote said, while explaining that the project was an extension of the Naia Expressway and not an unsolicited proposal.
He did not give added details, but noted that they expected the project to start “definitely by next year.”
SMC revealed its plans to extend the 7.7-kilometer Naia Expressway last year. This is seen to ease traffic on the Sales Bridge and cut travel time from the Coastal Road, the Naia passenger terminals and SM Mall of Asia to BGC.
This will reduce road congestion around the areas of Magallanes and Edsa-Pasay. SMC noted that it would also build new ramps from the Naia Terminal 1 and 2 areas all the way to SM Sucat, where it connects to the C5 extension project.
The Naia Expressway is among the successful PPP projects bid out under the Aquino administration. SMC won the project in 2013 after it outbid sole rival Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
However, delays in the delivery of right-of-way, a perennial issue for infrastructure projects, apart from power and water utilities that needed to be relocated along its alignment, postponed its completion. The Naia Expressway finally opened in September 2016.
Toll roads are a key part of SMC’s ambitious diversification strategy, which was launched more than a decade ago.
It is also a main driver of the company’s infrastructure assets under San Miguel Holdings Corp. SMC’s infrastructure business posted P12.14 billion in revenues in the first semester of the year, still a fraction of the group’s almost P500 billion in sales.
Infrastructure revenues were up 11 percent year-on-year “on the back of continuous growth in traffic volume at all operating toll roads.” Its operating income was up 19 percent to P6.22 billion during the first half of 2018.
Contributions are expected to rise as SMC implements a massive pipeline of road projects, valued at around P554 billion when it was announced last year.
Included in the pipeline were 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.”
SMC’s existing portfolio includes the South Luzon Expressway, Metro Manila Skyway, Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway, Star toll road and Naia Expressway.
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