METRO Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), the expressway holdings subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), is spending roughly P60 billion in capital expenditures this year, covering four major thoroughfare projects in Luzon and Visayas.
Christopher C. Lizo, the company’s CFO, said the amount will be used to build and continue the construction of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEx), the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (Calax), the C5-South Link Expressway and the Nlex Connector.
The amount is three times higher than the capital outlays in 2019, when the tollways group spent roughly P20 billion to develop its existing tollroads, as well as to jumpstart the construction of new ones.
“Almost everything is fully funded already via project financing. The equity portion comes from our parent company, MPIC,” Lizo said in an interview. “We’re not raising new financing this year.”
He added that the capital expenditures program hinges on the delivery of the needed easement for the projects.
ROW, on time
“The assumption is that right of way will be delivered on time,” he said.
Lizo noted that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has committed to deliver substantial portions of the easements for the four expressway deals.
So far, the right of way for C5-South Link stands at 80-percent delivered, while that of the connector road is now at around 60percent to 70 percent. The right of way for Calax should be fully delivered by June, while that of Cebu is at 100 percent, as it traverses Philippine waters, and not roads.
CCLEx is a P30-billion toll bridge project that will span 8.5 kilometers to connect Cebu City and Cordova. It will serve as a third bridge serving over 50,000 vehicles daily, helping reduce traffic congestion at the two existing bridges that connect Mactan and mainland Cebu.
The P35.43-billion Calax, on the other hand, is envisioned to be a four-lane, 45-kilometer roll road connecting the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway (Cavitex) and the South Luzon Expressway (Slex). It will have eight interchanges, namely: Kawit, Daang Hari, Governor’s Drive, Aguinaldo Highway, Silang, Santa Rosa-Tagaytay, Laguna Boulevard, Technopark and a Toll Barrier before Slex.
Meanwhile, the C5-South Link Expressway is a P10-billion tollways project that aims to connect the C5 Road in Taguig to the Cavitex, cutting travel by 20 minutes. It will span 7.7 kilometers and will help remove about 250,000 vehicles per day from Edsa.
Lastly, the P14-billion Nlex Connector is a link tollroad that will span 8 kilometers from the new Caloocan Interchange to the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, linking Nlex to the Slex. Upon full completion in 2021, the Nlex Connector will significantly cut travel time from Nlex to Slex by at least 60 percent. Instead of the usual two hours, travel time will be reduced to about 20 minutes.
Combined, MPTC’s subsidiaries operate the largest network of expressways in the Philippines. Aside from local thoroughfares, the company also has interests in tollroad firms in Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.