SMC gets original proponent status on railway projects

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    San Miguel Corp. (SMC) has obtained the original proponent status (OPS) on five railway transport modes that will expand the Metro Rail Transit line 7 (MRT-7) and connect this to the New Manila International (NMIA) Airport in Bulacan.

    The railway transport modes are the MRT-7 Katipunan spur, airport expressway-north line, airport expressway-west line, MRT-7 extension project and the airport expressway-southeast line.

    “All of which (railway projects) have been granted OPS,” SMC said in a statement.

    Having OPS gives SMC preference over these projects.

    The proposals will be submitted to National Economic Development Authority for further evaluation and approval.

    Once approved, the projects will undergo Swiss Challenge process where other proponents can submit proposals. SMC will have the right to match the offers.

    Aside from railways, SMC’s airport development plan includes an 8-kilometer toll road that will connect the airport to the North Luzon expressway and link it to the recently-completed 18-km Skyway Stage 3 going to the South Luzon expressway.

    In a recent meeting with the local government units in Bulacan, SMC also presented several proposed road expressway projects: the NMIA Airport Expressway, Integrated Airport Toll Expressway Network-Northern Access Link, Integrated Airport Toll Expressway Network-Southern Access Link, Integrated Airport Toll Expressway Network-Central Access Link, East Metro Manila Expressway, Northeast Airport Expressway, Calamba-San Pedro Expressway, Bulacan-Tarlac Expressway, Bataan-Bulacan Expressway, Skyway Stage 3-Radial Road 10 NMIA Expressway, MRT-7 Road and the NMIA Expressway MRT-7 (road spur access).

    “These proposed rail and road networks that will form part of a seamless transport system will allow the province to accommodate the millions of passengers who will enter the country through the Bulacan airport every year,” said Ramon Ang, SMC president and chief operating officer.

    “It will also allow the smooth delivery of goods and services, particularly coming from the Bulacan Airport City Economic Zone that is expected to attract business locators and provide employment to local residents,” Ang added.

    Ang said these projects make up the massive infrastructure network that will not only make the airport easily accessible from Metro Manila and various points of Luzon, but will also further unlock the economic potential of many provinces.

    SMC is expected to hold NMIA’s groundbreaking before yearend. The airport will be built in a 2,500-hectare property in Bulakan, Bulacan, about 30-km northeast of Metro Manila, at no cost to the government.

    The airport will be capable of handling up to 100 million passengers per year, seen to create about 30 million tourism-related jobs, and generate more than a million direct jobs for Bulacan and nearby provinces.