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SSS Looks Into Toll Roads as Revenue Source

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MANILA, Philippines – Social Security System (SSS) looks into toll roads as source of revenue by using pension funds as financial support.

The new SSS Chairman, Amado Valdez, stated that 25 to 35 percent of financing tolls roads should come from the pension fund.

Despite the fact the government owns the toll roads, the fees become big families and oligarchs’ source of revenues, which were not named.

North Luzon Expressway and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway are currently operated by Metro Pacific Investments Corp. South Luzon Expressway and Southern Tagalog Arterial Road are managed by San Miguel Corp. Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway is maintained by Ayala Corp.

Valdez emphasized that government should start benefiting from the toll roads. Making this mandatory is the goal of SSS to support social segment investments of its members.

The new chairman clarified that he would also like Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to take part, which shows that this toll road proposal is different from P2,000 pension hike. GSIS has Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings Pte. investment, which is among Light Rail Transit 1 operators.

The scope of the state’s participation in toll roads venture must be explained further, stated by Bank of the Philippine Islands Economist, Emilio Neri Jr. Neri stated that direct financing by the government is largely different compared to buying toll roads’ operators like in United States and Canada. He even added that there might be a concentration risk if the stake’s extent is too high.

The question on whether SSS investment fund could take the plan or not still remains. This is in line with First Grade Holdings Inc. Managing Director, Astro del Castillo, commendation of the project. In a separate phone internet, del Castillo stated SSS should look into how much in figures will 25 to 35 percent investment require.

SSS’s P456.91 billion portfolio is composed of as much as 37 percent of government securities, which is equivalent to P170.21 billion. The remaining portfolio constituents include loans to members at P82.24 billion, equivalent to 18 percent, and equities at P107.49 billion, which is 24 percent.

Real state at P20.03 billion, corporate bonds at P36.59 billion, and bank deposits at P40.35 billion complete the firm’s balance.

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