DOTr responds to credit-grabbing allegations on Parañaque Integrated Terminal

November 7, 2018 - 4:33 PM
Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange
Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (Department of Transportation/file photo)

The Department of Transportation admitted in a statement that new Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange was not spearheaded by the present administration in response to criticisms from people of credit-grabbing .

The transport agency told the public on Facebook that the PITX, which was inaugurated on November 5, was a project that started from the previous administration and completed by current officials.

PAGLILINAW sa mga isyung ibinabato kaugnay ng PITXUna sa lahat, batid at hindi itinatanggi ng administrasyong Duterte…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Monday, November 5, 2018

When it was reported that President Rodrigo Duterte led its official launch, several Filipinos perceived that it is being attributed solely to his governance even if it had commenced years ago.

DOTr then clarified in a post that Duterte and other present officials are not taking any credit for PITX, dubbed as the country’s first land port.

“Una sa lahat, batid at hindi itinatanggi ng administrasyong Duterte na hindi sa liderato nito nagsimula ang proyektong Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange,” DOTr stated.

The agency also briefly explained that PITX actually went through many obstacles, specifically concerning the contract the government originally entered with the private MWM consortium.

The consortium comprises big companies Megawide Construction Corporation and WM Property Management.

“Nang maplantsa na ang mga gusot, kagyat na tinutukan ng administrasyong Duterte ang pagpapatayo ng PITX,” the transport agency stated.

Several Filipinos earlier criticized the detail on reports that the land port was part of the government’s ambitious Build, Build, Build infrastructure program.

Others suggest that the credit for the work should go to former President Benigno Aquino III.

DOTr, meanwhile, expressed that Filipinos should not point fingers on whose leadership should be recognized.

“Hindi dapat nilalagyan ng kulay ang mga proyekto ng gobyerno. Hindi dapat nagtatagisan sa pag-angkin ng mga pampublikong istruktura. Ang mga proyektong tulad ng PITX ay mula sa katas ng pinagpaguran ng mga mamamayan,” DOTr added.

PITX timeline

Based on the timeline stated in the Build program’s website, the start date of the project was on November 15, 2012 by virtue of Executive Order No. 67 during Aquino’s term.

This includes the pre-planning stages of conceptualization and feasibility studies of the prospect transport system.

Initially called as Integrated Transport System, it was envisioned as “a centralized, inter-modal and integrated bus terminal system at the fringes of Metro Manila.”

Then in 2013, Aquino created Administrative Order No. 40 to construct “interim transport terminals” at the south and south-west districts of Metro Manila.

This was to address the growing traffic congestion that time while the earlier ITS policy was still pending implementation.

It was renamed to Southwest Integrated Transport System in 2014, around which time private companies were invited to bid for it. The official project information was also released on January 2014.

The project was awarded to MWM Consortium on January 21, 2015 through a public-private partnership agreement. The official contract was signed on April 24 that year, according to DOTr.

The plan went inactive for at least year and it was only in 2016 when the government granted the “Notice to Proceed” status to the MWM consortium.

The construction officially started on 21 October 2016 and ended on 17 April 2018.

There were also disagreements between the government and the consortium regarding the payment details stated in the contract.

Arthur Tugade of transportation did not agree with the P100 million annual fee that the previous secretary agreed to pay to MWM within the 35-year-concession period.

“Matapos ang matitinding negosasyon, sa huli’y pumayag ang MWM Terminals na hindi na pagbayarin ang ating gobyerno nang kabuuang halagang PhP 3.5 billion na dapat sana’y papasanin ng mga taxpayer nang 35 pang taon,” the statement said.