By Auto

Earlier today, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) held the groundbreaking ceremony of the soon-to-rise Taguig Integrated Terminal Exchange (ITX) together with a private partner, Ayala Land Inc. (ALI).

The Taguig ITX project is a 6-storey building designed to consolidate several current and proposed modes of transportation in the future. The ITX will house a passenger concourse, a centralized ticketing area, and several retail establishments. It will also feature a pedestrian walkway connection to the PNR FTI station and the proposed subway system.

Construction of the Taguig ITX will begin in the second half of 2018 with operations expected to start by the first half of 2020. Upon completion, Taguig ITX is expected to house around 4,000 buses and accommodate 160,000 passengers daily plying the south of Luzon, including Visayas and Mindanao.

During the ground breaking ceremony, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade announced that the two have agreed to waive the annual grantor payment, which would cost the government a total of Php 9 billion for the construction of ITX, paid to Ayala throughout the span of 35 years.

“Two things will be done — the P277 million per year for the next 35 years will no longer be paid, saving the government, this country, no less than PhP 9 billion cashout annually… And two, from the start of its commercial operation, until the end of the concession agreement, Ayala Land will share 2% of their income from the commercial spaces in favor of the government,” Secretary Tugade said during the groundbreaking of the Taguig ITX, one of the big-ticket infrastructure projects of the Duterte Administration aimed at further decongesting vehicular traffic on EDSA.

Tugade said that the DOTr has managed to come up with the deal after they engaged in discussions with ALI since last year that both parties have agreed to. No specifics however were detailed, but only that it was a win-win for both and even for the Filipino people.

During the ceremony, the Tugade was joined by other members of the BUILDBUILDBUILD Team including DPWH Secretary Mark Villar and BCDA president and CEO Vince Dizon. Other high level government officials who attended this morning’s ITX groundbreaking rites at the former NFA warehouse, FTI, Taguig City, include Taguig City Mayor Lani. Cayetano, Cong. Federico Sandoval II (Malabon), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Danilo Lim, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Chairman Martin Delgra III, PNR Chairman Roberto Lastimoso and General Manager Junn Magno, NFA administrator Jason Aquino, and PPP Center Executive Director Boyet Pecson.

ALI chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala , ALI vice chairman and director Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala also graced the ceremony.