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San Miguel makes payment for NAIA Expressway project

Ang

MANILA, Philippines - Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) paid yesterday P11 billion representing the upfront cash payment for the 7.5-kilometer Ninoy Aquino international airport expressway project.

SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang confirmed to The STAR that the conglomerate paid the amount in cash to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) yesterday.

“Yes, we confirm paying the entire P11 billion today (yesterday) to seal our commitment to this vital project as our commitment to help in nation building. This project is San Miguel Group’s answer to a seamless toll network in the south,” Ang said in a text message to The STAR.

Ang earlier said SMC which has a free cashflow of P120 billion as of end-March this year does not need to borrow to raise funds for the upfront cash payment to the government.

For his part, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson also confirmed in a text message to The STAR that SMC has already paid the upfront cash payment to the government. “Yes, the amount was paid through a check of P11 billion,” Singson said in a text message.

Singson said the amount was paid through a manager’s check and was not placed in escrow.

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The DPWH issued the Notice of Award (NOA) to SMC’s Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc. for the expressway project last May 6. SMC was given 30 days from the issuance of the notice to hand over to the government the P11-billion upfront cash payment.

However, several issues including the mode of payment of the upfront cash as well as the right-of-way deliverables would have to be finalized during the 30-day period.

The right-of-way issue would have to be resolved by the government as this is crucial for the expressway that would be constructed by SMC under the public private partnership (PPP) scheme.

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