Taguig Integrated Terminal Exchange (ITX) construction to start in 2018

Published January 18, 2018 12:13pm 
Updated January 18, 2018 12:25pm

Construction of the Taguig Integrated Terminal Exchange (ITX) public-private partnership (PPP) project is set to begin by the second half of the year, according to Philippine transport officials.

"The Taguig ITX construction would start by the second half of 2018 and is expected to start operation by first half of 2020," the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said in a statement.

This comes as the government, along with its private partner Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) broke ground for the P5.20-billion project on Wednesday.

The contract for the project — previously named the Integrated Terminal System (ITS) but renamed into the ITX under the Duterte administration — was signed by the government and ALI on January 26, 2016.

Under the agreement, ALI will undertake the design, construction, and financing of the ITS South Terminal which will be located within a site area of 4.7 hectares inside the Food Terminal Inc. (FTI).

It will connect passengers coming from the south such as Laguna and Batangas to other transport systems such as the Philippine National Railways (PNR), and other public utility vehicles (PUVs).

The project will also include passenger terminal buildings, arrival and departure bays, public information systems, ticketing and baggage handling facilities, and park-ride facilities.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, however, said that the government asked for a new set of terms from its private partner before proceeding with the project, effectively causing the delay.

"This inauguration would have taken place last year, but then I had to dialogue and to have a heart-to-heart talk with the Ayala Group," he said.

"I said let's find ways how we can stop the practice and paradigm of government paying the private sector royalty grounds as they operate terminals," he added.

Under the initial terms agreed upon, the government should pay ALI P277 million during its concession period of 35 years.

"The solution is extend the term for some more years," Tugade said, noting that the royalties will no longer be paid.

The transportation chief also said he asked ALI to remit 2 percent of its rental income during its first year of operations.

"Ayala Land will share 2 percent of their annual rental income in the favor of the government... I tell you, the cooperation of the Ayala Land in trying to show its sincere commitment of assistance to government was given," he added. —Jon Viktor Cabuenas/KG, GMA News source: GMA NEWS

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