The actual construction of Makati City subway’s Station 5, the project’s main construction site where the tunnel boring machines will be assembled and lowered, may happen after two years or in 2023, Philippine Infradev Holdings, Inc. said.

Philippine Infradev Holdings recently announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Makati City Subway, Inc., which takes charge of the subway project, executed a legally binding term sheet with Richer Today, Inc. on March 9 “for, among others, the financing and acquisition of lots in and around Station 5.”

They would form an unincorporated joint venture for the “financing, design, construction, development, marketing, and sale of the lots” for the project’s Station 5 “with an area of 5.5 hectares,” it added.

The two firms would finalize and execute the joint venture agreement (JVA) within 90 days from the execution of the term sheet.

“In case the JVA is not signed within the period set herein, this term sheet shall continue to bind and govern the parties until the JVA is executed,” it said.

Richer Today, according to Philippine Infradev, will start the “actual construction” of Station 5 “after two years from the execution of the term sheet, unless during the two-year period, the construction of a specific development in the project site, which shall not have any material adverse engineering effect on the construction and/or existing structures of the subway, is otherwise allowed under the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) Joint Venture Agreement dated 30 July 2019 for the Makati City Subway Project.”

In a phone message to BusinessWorld, Antonio L. Tiu, Philippine Infradev president and chief executive officer, said when asked to clarify: “Yes, because the target is that underground civil works in the area will be completed within the two-year period.”

They intend to complete the Makati City Subway Project within seven years “from the execution of the term sheet or within such time as provided in the PPP Joint Venture Agreement,” according to the disclosure.

Richer Today, which is engaged in the business of fund transfer, remittance services, and foreign exchange transactions, among others, is expected to release at least P775.89 million within 120 days from the signing of the term sheet, with at least P234.73 million to be released within 10 business days from the execution of the term sheet, Philippine Infradev said.

Real estate and gaming businessman Kevin Kristopher K. Wong is the majority owner of Richer Today.

Philippine Infradev previously announced the termination of the investment transaction between its subsidiary and Hong Kong Binjiang Industrial Ltd. “It has been almost one year since the transactions contemplated in the greement were submitted to the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) for approval, and to date, the same are still pending review,” it said.

For its part, PCC said the parties decided not to pursue the transaction and to terminate their share purchase agreement “due to circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.” — Arjay L. Balinbin