Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, February 13, 2005

DELAYED PROJECT Subic-Clark road to start finally

CLARK SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE -- After more than a year of delay, the construction of the P27.5-billion Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway will start in March, said Francisco Licuanan II, presidential adviser for the Subic-Clark growth corridor program.

Interviewed after meeting with President Macapagal-Arroyo here on Saturday, Licuanan said his office and the Bases Conversion Development Authority had submitted the contract for the project's Clark-Tarlac phase to the lender, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and to the government's corporate counsel. "We expect approval shortly," he said.

The JBIC, he said, would receive the contract for the Subic-Clark phase by next week.
Licuanan said he expected no major hitches in the next months.

The delays have been largely due to procedural matters, he said.
Recently, BCDA clarified it was to shoulder all taxes resulting from the 94-km road project.
In a separate interview, BCDA Chair Narciso Abaya said his agency had "already come to terms as far as the contentious issues in the contract [were concerned]."

He said these involved the schedule on the increase of prices of materials and on the cap on the percentage of Japanese materials and services that would be involved in the project.
"These terms are in the JBIC loan. As much as possible we are negotiating with them so that we can get the best terms for the Philippine government," Abaya said.

He said the final stages of negotiations were being held with the two Japanese contractors and these would be concluded by next week.

Antonio Rex Chan, BCDA vice president, said the contractor for the first phase is the joint venture of the Kajima, Obayashi, JFE Engineering and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. He said the second phase would be built by the Hazama, Taisei and Nippon Steel joint venture.


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