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Right-of-way problems delay Tarlac-La Union expressway

[ ] November 11, 2010
Right-of-way problems have delayed by at least six months the construction of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union expressway (TPLEX), according to Ronaldo Elepano Jr., first vice president for business development overseas of DMCI Holdings.
Sammy Lazo, president of Philippine Infrastructure Development Corp. (PIDC), the consortium which holds the 35-year contract to build, operate and maintain the road, said in a separate interview that changes in alignment of some of the interchanges may cause additional cost.
It has yet to be determined how much the additional cost would be or who should pay for it.
DMCI is one of the stockholders of PIDC.
Elepano said the construction should have started in April but DMCI could not go full blast because the ROWs were being delivered in tranches.
He said the Pangasinan area has so far been cleared.
Lazo said in absence of cadastral maps, ROW acquisition has encountered documentation problems. Some of the lots have been subdivided to John Does and plotting of others as to their boundaries does not match, causing the builder to amend ROW contracts.
Some of the problem areas in the in southern part, near the border of Rosales and Pura in Pangasinan.
But Lazo said this should not stop DMCI from constructing. "It’s just a matter of managing it."
Lazo said the contractors have mobilized their equipment despite the ROW setback.
On the cleared sections from Tumana in Pangasinan going south, construction can start January or February.
Lazo said the realignments along the 88.5-kilometer expressway are on the interchanges in Carmen in Pangasinan, Victoria in Tarlac and in La Paz where a church will be have to be bypassed.
"The costing has changed in terms of scope and variations. (The cost) has to be adjusted. But who should pay?" Lazo said.
If it is a design problem, the additional cost is normally shouldered by the contractor but if the change is in variation or scope, it is be paid by government. PIDC received a P3 billion subsidy through bridge financing from the government.
The four-lane would connect to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac expressway.
The new highway, originally set for completion in 2013, is expected to cut travel time to Manila from northern and central Luzon by an hour. PIDC is composed of San Miguel Corp., DMCI Holdings Inc., First Balfour Inc. and EEI Corp.

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