San Miguel Corp. is pouring in P205-B to push for big-ticket infra projects

San Miguel Corp is sponsoring Php 205 B to speed up infrastructure spending.”

By Iris Gonzales

MANILA, Philippines – Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. is pouring in P205 billion for the completion of a number of big-ticket infrastructure projects, giving a boost to the Duterte administration’s efforts to accelerate infrastructure spending.

In a forum organized by BDO-Nomura Monday night, SMC chief finance officer and treasurer Ferdinand Constantino said the conglomerate had several projects in the pipeline valued at P205 billion.

“There are several projects that are ongoing. One example is the airport expressway which will connect four terminals all the way to the Pagcor City. Another big project is the (expansion of the) Boracay-Caticlan airport. The bigger project is Skyway Stage 3, which will connect the South Luzon expressway with North Luzon Expressway. It’s a P45 billion project. We also have MRT 7, the railroad project from North Avenue MRT 3 all the way to San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. We’re also about to start the extension of the South Luzon Expressway all the way to Quezon Province,” Constantino said.

SMC opened last month the initial section of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) expressway project. The initial portion opened to motorists links Terminals 1 and 2 to Macapagapal Boulevard, near the Entertainment City of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).

Another project is the completion of the runway extension of SMC’s Boracay-Caticlan airport.

Skyway Stage 3, meanwhile, will connect the South Luzon and North Luzon expressways, and is seen to significantly decongest traffic in Metro Manila.

Construction of MRT 7, meanwhile, is already ongoing.

SMC is also working on the extension of the South Luzon Expressway.

Constantino said SMC had also submitted to the Duterte administration an unsolicited proposal for a new airport.

“Mr. Ramon Ang, our president has already brought that attention to the president. It’s not necessarily just San Miguel. SMC can work with many parties so that this will be a successful bid. Hopefully the president will make a decision,” he said when asked whether the company was pursuing the development of a new airport.

During the same forum, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the Duterte administration would prioritize infrastructure projects.

“Indeed, we will usher in the golden age of infrastructure for this country,” he said.

There are P1.4 trillion PPP projects in the pipeline including the North and South Railway projects and the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway project.

Another conglomerate, DMCI also expressed support for the government’s infrastructure program but called for a better system of bidding out projects.

“Projects should be bid out as a system instead of chopping it out (in parcels),” said DMCI chairman and president Isidro Consunji.

He noted for example that the government usually bids out the design and construction contracts separately when it would be better to just bid it out as one package so it would be faster.

“If you want to solve the traffic problems a lot of projects can be done simultaneously. I’d like to help the government in implementation,” he said.

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