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Signing of NLEX-SCTEX integration pact set

MANILA, Philippines - State-run Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) aims to sign next week with the Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) the agreement for the integration of the toll payment of North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).

According to the BCDA, said it is working with MNTC to speed up the signing of the agreement on the toll integration ahead of the Feb. 12 deadline set by Senate president Franklin Drilon.

Drilon recommended the toll integration by February after he endured an 11-hour trip to Baguio during the holidays.

“The integration of the tollways had always been part of the plan. We are grateful for Senate president Drilon’s interest because it is now gaining momentum,” BCDA president and chief executive officer Arnel Paciano Casanova said.

 “We are working at signing the agreement in the first week of February,” he added.

The BCDA, he said, is just waiting for the green light from the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel before signing the agreement.

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After the signing of the toll integration agreement, it would be submitted to the Toll Regulatory Board for approval.

The integration of the NLEX and SCTEX is estimated to cost P600 million.

At present, the operations of the SCTEX and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) are partially integrated, as motorists no longer need to queue separately in La Paz to pay and get new toll cards.

The BCDA said there are currently discussions between SCTEX and TPLEX to make driving through the two expressways more seamless.

 “For the long term, there will be discussions for a unified radio frequency ID (RFID) and other technologies to make it even more efficient for operators and motorists,” Casanova said.

The BCDA, created by Republic Act 7227, is mandated to transform former US military bases into alternative productive civilian use.

It engages in public-private partnerships to promote infrastructure projects such as tollways, airports, seaports, as well as other major real estate developments.

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