Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway up for NEDA panel approval

CAVITE, Philippines – The proposed 50.42-kilometer Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway (CTBEX) is moving forward with the awarding of the original proponent status to Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) South.

On Thursday, July 26, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced it had granted the status to MPTC South, an infrastructure unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC).

The company had submitted the unsolicited CTBEX proposal to the government.

Under the country's build-operate-transfer (BOT) and procurement laws, the government deals with unsolicited proposals through a Swiss challenge. This is when the government invites private groups to make competing offers, while giving the original proponent the right to match them.

Now that the original proponent status for the CTBEX has been awarded, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said they have to seek the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Investment Coordination Committee (ICC).

If the NEDA ICC approves the project, it would go to the NEDA Board, chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte. Once the NEDA Board gives the go signal, a Swiss challenge can be conducted in the 2nd quarter of 2019.

"We expect to start construction by next year. This year, we are going to the NEDA ICC process. Once we go to the Swiss challenge, we start with the project," Villar told reporters.

The project is estimated to cost P22 billion, including right-of-way acquisitions. The DPWH expects the construction to be completed by 2022.

Image from MPTC South

The CTBEX will start at the Silang East Interchange of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX).

It will have 8 major interchanges traversing Silang, Pook, Amadeo, Tagaytay City, Mendez, Alfonso, and Magallanes in Cavite; and Tuy and Nasugbu in Batangas.

The CTBEX is expected to help decongest Aguinaldo Highway in Cavite and the Tagaytay-Nasugbu Road, potentially diverting some 23,000 vehicles.

Once completed, travel time from Governor's Drive in Dasmariñas City, Cavite to Nasugbu, Batangas would be cut down to 44 minutes from the usual one hour and 42 minutes, while Sta Rosa City, Laguna to Tagaytay City would only take 46 minutes.

Travel time from Manila to Tagaytay would also be reduced from two and a half hours to around an hour. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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