Metro Pacific Tollways South Corp. (MPT South) has won original proponent status for its unsolicited proposal to build a 50.42-kilometer expressway that aims to decongest existing roads to Tagaytay City, a prime tourist spot south of Manila, its parent company reported on Friday, July 27.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), the parent company of MPT South, said that the Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway (“CTBEx”) Project has been approved by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as an unsolicited project. If granted the final award, the company expects to start construction by 2019.
"We expect to start construction by next year. This year, we are going to the NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) ICC (Investment Coordination Committee) process. Once we go to the Swiss challenge, we start with the project," DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said in a report by Rappler.
If NEDA approves MPT South’s proposal, the project will go through a Swiss challenge, which will give other private parties the chance to match or offer a better proposal. MPT South first submitted its CTBEx proposal in July 2017.
The project would approximately cost MPIC Php25 billion to build. It will include eight main interchanges that will start at the Silang East Interchange of the still under construction Cavite-Laguna (CALA) Expressway and will end at Nasugbu in Batangas. Various news reports said the facility may cut travel time from Manila to Tagaytay from the usual two and a half hour-drive to just one hour.
“The project aims to provide high facility alternative route for traffic, presently plying Aguinaldo Highway and Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road, which are experiencing congestion during peak periods and weekends,” the DPWH said on its website.
The government decision is a welcome development for the MPIC, whose subsidiary, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) is also constructing the 45.29-kilometer CALA expressway that will connect its Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX) to South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). The company started the construction of the toll road in 2017 and is expected to finish by 2020.
MPTC is also operating North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) in Central Luzon. It has also recently started the construction of the 8.5-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEx), its first project in the Visayas region.
Elyssa Christine Lopez is a staff writer of Entrepreneur PH. Follow her on Twitter @elyssalopz