by: Carlo S. Lorenciana

CEBU, Philippines — As delays continue to hinder key infrastructure projects aimed to solve the traffic congestion in Cebu, having the private sector implement them is seen as a viable option.

While the government had bared plans particularly a mass transport system to address Metro Cebu’s worsening traffic woes, this hasn’t been implemented yet.

The Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEx) is so far the only big infrastructure project that’s being built now designed to decongest Cebu’s traffic.

The private-led toll bridge project, which connects Cebu City to Mactan Island via Cordova, is undertaken by Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway Corp. (CCLEC), a company controlled by infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).

CCLEC president and general manager Allan Alfon said he supports public-private partnership (PPP) in implementing projects.

The 8.5-kilometer CCLEx, whose commercial operations is targeted to start in 2021, is a PPP project between CCLEC and the local governments of Cebu City and Cordova town.

In fact, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2, which opened mid last year, has also been cited as a great product of PPP.

“I am for PPP and support it but of course the government has competent infrastructure agencies that can implement projects well,” Alfon told The FREEMAN yesterday.

The government has shifted to official development assistance (ODA) from other countries to fund its infrastructure buildup program.

Alfon said he would welcome any projects that are designed to solve the traffic problem, which should later complement with the third bridge once completed.

“Any and all proposals to alleviate our traffic concerns for Cebu should be welcomed including mass transport,” he pointed out.

Aside from CCLEx, the Metro Cebu Expressway is also expected to start full construction this year.

The government had also eyed to open the project to private concessionaires. The 73.75-kilometer project aims to connect Danao City in the north to Naga City in the south to de­con­gest traf­fic in the metropolitan area and cut travel time by an hour.

The Department of Transportation had vowed that works on the planned projects such as the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) should start within this year. (FREEMAN)