Metro Pacific Investments Corp. said it expects to reach a settlement with the government over the delayed tariff adjustment on its tollroad business within the year.
Metro Pacific president and chief executive Jose Ma. Lim said in a recent press briefing the Toll Regulatory Board was set to conduct a meeting on the company’s tariff issue in the first two weeks of August.
“We have received signals from both from the Department of Transportation and the Department of Finance that they will support a settlement on this issue but we are not in the liberty to reveal the details yet,” Lim said.
Once TRB approves the resolution on the settlement, Lim said the process would require publication and notification for collection, which would then allow Metro Pacific to implement the rates.
“We are really hoping that TRB will be able to pass this resolution,” Lim said.
He said Metro Pacific would withdraw the notice arbitration case filed against the government for the non-implementation of tollroad adjustments.
Metro Pacific, through unit NLEX Corp., in April last year, filed a notice of arbitration against the government to obtain compensation worth some P3 billion for toll rate adjustments due to take effect for both January 2013 and January 2015.
During the same month, the group through Cavitex Infrastructure Corp., also issued a notice of arbitration and statement of claim seeking compensation worth P877 million for government’s inaction on the toll hike petition for CAVITEx, which was due to take effect on Jan. 1, 2012, Jan. 1, 2014 and Jan. 1, 2015.
Metro Pacific’s running revenues claims due to the freeze in tolls as of the first half of 2018 stood at P7 billion for the North Luzon Expressway and P1.6 billion for the Manila-Cavite Expressway (Cavitex).
One of the options earlier considered by the government was a staggered toll adjustment to cushion the impact to the motorists.
Meanwhile, Metro Pacific chairman Manuel Pangilinan said a resolution on tariff adjustments would enable to infrastructure conglomerate to further support the government’s Build, Build, Build program.
“I remain optimistic that settlement will be reached at the end of the day. Uncertainty is felt by investors in our financial market and by counter-parties unsure of such resolutions. In the meantime, we are doing our best to support the government’s Build, Build, Build program but tariff adjustment will certainly help the program be financeable,” Pangilinan said.
Unit Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. earlier raised its stake in an Indonesian infrastructure company to more than 50 percent that would require them to conduct a mandatory tender offer.
The company said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange MPTC, through Indonesian subsidiary PT Metro Pacific Tollways Indonesia, acquired an additional equity interest of 4.99 percent of the total issued capital stock of PT Nusantara worth P600.4 million.