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imns



Exact expressway project cost is P6.5B, not P7.18B


Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:22:00 04/10/2008

Filed Under: Road Transport, Government Debt

We write to point out the erroneous heading of the news item titled ?RP, Japan ink P17-B loan pact for Clark-Subic Road.? (Inquirer, 3/31/08)

The first paragraph of the story clearly reported that it is about a 17.1-billion-yen or P7.18-billion supplemental loan agreement to finance the completion of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCT Expressway). The heading, however, said P17 billion.

While this may have been a simple proofreading error, we are compelled to write this letter because there have been previous inaccurate articles, published in the Inquirer, regarding the SCT Expressway funding. Allow us to take this opportunity to correct such inaccuracies.

In the March 18 issue of the Inquirer, a front-page article about the scheduled opening of the SCT Expressway cited a cost of P60.5 billion for the project. Sadly, nowhere in the story was there any mention as to how the writers came up with the P60.5 billion.

Last March 27, Romy Piocos, in his letter to the editor, commented on the P60.5 billion cost of the SCT Expressway and hinted at possible anomalies and corruption in the project. Apparently, the letter sender picked up his ?P60.5 billion? figure from the earlier Inquirer article.

For the record, the project cost for the SCT Expressway, including the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations and the yen appreciation (the project is funded by a yen loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation) as well as financing and other costs, totalled only P27.2 billion as of March 28, 2008.

Lastly, we also like to take this opportunity to correct the peso equivalent of 17.1 billion yen. At an exchange rate of P2.63 to the Japanese yen, the correct peso equivalent of 17.1 billion yen is P6.5 billion and not P7.18 billion as reported.

GEN. NARCISO ABAYA (ret.), president and CEO, Bases Conversion and Development Authority, 2/F Bonifacio Technology Center, 31st St., Crescent Park West, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City



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