Press Release
February 5, 2015

Drilon lauds signing
MNTC, BCDA ink agreement to integrate NLEX, SCTEX collection systems

Two stops at toll plazas instead of five from Balintawak to Subic Tipo and back. Two stops instead of four from Balintawak to Tarlac and back. This happy development is expected to happen before the year ends, following the signing of the NLEX-SCTEX Integration Agreement by the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) held in the Senate today/February 5, with Senate President Franklin M. Drilon as main witness. The integration will be implemented by the MNTC at an estimated cost of P650 million.

MNTC is the builder and concessionaire of the NLEX while BCDA is the current concessionaire of SCTEX. MNTC is expected to take over the SCTEX concession this year as it is set to be awarded the contract for the management, operation and maintenance of SCTEX.

MNTC president Rodrigo E. Franco said the integration will provide motorists with a more seamless travel experience along the NLEX and the SCTEX.

"The toll collection technology that is available to NLEX motorists will now be used along the SCTEX, making travel faster and more efficient," he said. For his part, MPTC President Ramoncito S. Fernandez expressed appreciation to Senate President Franklin M. Drilon for hastening the signing of the agreement: "Senator Drilon's support has been crucial in providing our motorists a more seamless travel experience along the NLEX and the SCTEX sooner rather than later."

"The NLEX-SCTEX integration is only the beginning of MPTC's plan to link the countryside and Metro Manila and boost socio-economic development in the regions. Soon, motorists will enjoy even greater convenience with the NLEX Harbor Link segments and Connector Road already being started in different phases," Fernandez added.

The Senate President commended the MNTC, the BCDA and the Tollways Regulatory Board for their immediate action, saying that there is still plenty of time for the authorities to prepare the integration of NLEX and SCTEX for the influx of travelers when the summer season begins.

""The integration of the NLEX and SCTEX toll systems will help avoid traffic build-up in our expressways, which will translate into a pleasant and enjoyable time for our countrymen regularly traversing these tollways, especially during holidays, and savings in terms of travel time and fuel consumption," Drilon said.

"I am glad to extend my assistance in pursuing a prompt and decisive stance in this development initiative. Filipinos deserve a smooth, safe and unproblematic time while traveling, especially during peak seasons where many take to the roads to visit their loved ones," the Senate chief added.

BCDA president Arnel Paciano D. Casanova said the integration is in line with BCDA's vision to facilitate the movement of people and goods to and from the three key economic zones of Central Luzon - the Subic Bay Freeport, the Clark Freeport Zone, and the Central Techno Park in Tarlac.

"The SCTEX was built to transform Central Luzon into a world-class logistics hub in the Asia-Pacific region," he pointed out. "The integration of the tollway systems which will provide a direct and seamless connection between Central Luzon's main economic zones and the big markets of Metro Manila will help bring us closer to this goal."

The integration will bring to SCTEX the modern features of NLEX's toll collection system. These include the use of dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) tags, contactless and magnetic cards, and in the near future, radio frequency identification (RFID) sticker tags as means of paying toll. The project is expected to be completed within the year. The contractors' design will be completed this month while construction will start in March.

MNTC said some toll barriers and toll plazas will be removed or transferred to pave the way for the integrated system.

Among the barriers that will be removed are the NLEX Dau Barrier and the SCTEX Mabalacat Toll Barrier. New toll plazas will be constructed at the existing entry and exit ramps at NLEX Dau and Sta. Ines. A new SCTEX Tarlac Toll Plaza will also be constructed.

The toll collection system integration will feature a common transit ticket system for both NLEX's closed system and that of the SCTEX. A single official receipt will be issued to motorists, showing a breakdown of the NLEX and SCTEX portions of their trips.

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