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BCDA to bid out 20-km monorail

[ ] July 22, 2011

THE Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) plans to bid out the proposed 20-km elevated monorail project connecting the cities of Makati, Taguig and Pasay that is targeted to be completed by 2016.

Felicito C. Payumo, chairman of the BCDA, said the elevated monorail will replicate the monorail system in Sydney, Australia.

The monorail will pass through The Fort in Taguig, Makati, Mall of Asia and the airport before connecting to the Metro Rail Transit 3 and Light Rail Transit in Pasay.

He added that BCDA will coordinate with the Metro Manila Development Authority and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) on the project.

A third party will conduct a feasibility study as soon as the project proposal gets initial approval. The study will take at least 150 days.

The monorail project will be offered under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative.

Payumo said foreign and local firms have expressed interest in participating in the proposed monorail project, but added said it too early to identify them.

"We will announce the foreign proponents who intend to bid at the right time" he said

The project is expected to be completed before the term of the Aquino administration ends.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, Metro North Tollway Corp. (MNTC) chairman, said his group is interested in bidding for the monorail project.

Payumo and Pangilinan yesterday signed on behalf of the BCDA and MNTC the 33-year concession agreement for the Subic-Clark-Tarlac expressway (SCTEX).

Under the agreement, MNTC will operate and manage the SCTEX, relieving BCDA of the heavy financial burden of paying the latter’s P34 billion debt to the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Arnel Paciano D. Casanova, BCDA president and chief executive officer, said the government will have estimated revenues of P64 billion for 33 years, of which P30 billion will go to the Treasury. The remainder will be used to pay the debt to JICA.

"This agreement is our contribution to the Aquino government’s Public and Private Partnership (PPP) program. We see it as innovative because it frees the government of the heavy debt servicing burden. We can say that the SCTEX was built at no cost to the government," the BCDA official said.

Based on the revenue-sharing scheme between the BCDA and MNTC, in the first six years the bulk of revenues will be given to the government – about 55 to 60 percent to the BCDA – and 40 to 45 percent to the MNTC. But starting in 2017, the revenue sharing will be 80 to 20 in favor of the MNTC.

Rodrigo Franco, MNTC president, said that his group expected to have more than P180 billion in revenues for 33 years, three times the government revenues, as 80 percent will go to the MNTC after six years.

The MNTC has also committed to spend a total of P20.6 billion for maintenance works.

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