PPP: ITS-Southwest Terminal deal signing expected next week

The government and the winning bidder hope to sign the concession agreement for the P3.15-billion Integrated Transport System (ITS)-Southwest Terminal Project--after over a month of delay due to clarifications regarding the process of property titling for the 4.59-hectare project site in Parañaque City.  

MWM Terminals, the consortium of Megawide Construction Corp. and WM Properties, Inc., was awarded the 35-year concession agreement in January after offering the lowest annual grantor payment of P100 million, which the government will pay for the services of the winning bidder. 

Filinvest Land, Inc., the only other bidder, offered P650 million.

“We are now scheduled to sign next week. There’s no title yet, but we’re working with the DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) on the logistics, so it’s more of the access--this means the permit to be given by the [state] property owner so we can start construction even without the title,” said Megawide’s Corporate Information Officer Manuel Louie B. Ferrer.

He said the 4.59-hectare property involves two titles, which they haven’t secured yet. 

“But the DOTC made negotiations with our legal team last week, giving us comfort to get a permit to start the construction right after the signing,” he added.

According to MWM Terminals President Oliver Y. Tan, the project site has two titles--one under the Public Estates Authority (PEA) and another reclaimed land that is still in the process of approval. 

Both lands belong to the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), said Department of Transportation and Communications Spokesperson Michael Arthur C. Sagcal.

Asked for updates on the signing of the concession for the ITS-Southwest deal, DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya said: “If they are ready, then we are ready as well.”

In a statement, Mr. Ferrer disclosed: “Property titling will follow after the concession agreement signing. It will take some time. PRA told us that they expect titling to be completed by December 2015.”

The ITS-Southwest Project will be built on a 4.59-hectare area and is expected to connect passengers coming from Cavite to transport services that serve Metro Manila.

It will involve a passenger terminal building, arrival and departure bays, public information systems, ticketing and baggage handling facilities and park-ride facilities.

MWM will operate and maintain the facility for 35 years. It will start operations in April 2017.

Asked if the delay in the concession signing would change its timetable for the project, Mr. Ferrer said his company was “still within schedule.”

He added that the schedule of completion is still on time if they could sign the concession next week.