New roads change landscape, spur economic development

MANILA, Philippines — A growing optimism has spurred the industry sector as various infrastructure projects have continued to pave the path toward economic growth.

The anticipation of major road infrastructure, such as the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10, is drawing further new investments while expanding economic opportunities in the countryside.

Central Luzon, for instance, has been the country’s second fastest growing region, garnering an increase of 9.5 percent in gross regional domestic product in 2016, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).  Such economic vibrancy has been stimulated by a variety of factors, such as the ever-expanding network of efficient and modern expressways.

Consistent with the vision of the government’s massive infrastructure plan – the Build Build Build program – the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 is among the high impact projects that are seen to boost the productive capacity of the economy, create jobs, increase incomes, and ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

“We’re very excited that the vision of President Rodrigo Duterte for the Philippines is quickly becoming a reality, and part of it is the decongestion of Metro Manila traffic, which is one of the major thrusts of the Build Build Build,” said Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar in his speech during the progress inspection of the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 in Samson Road, Caloocan City.

NLEX Corp. president and chief executive officer Rodrigo Franco affirms the tollway company’s commitment as a “critical enabler” for industries to grow, and assures NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 motorists that “they will get the same seamless, safe, and comfortable travel experience already available in the NLEX.”

Driving commerce

The NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10, an 8.25-kilometer, 4-lane elevated expressway traversing MacArthur Highway in Karuhatan, Valenzuela City and eventually reaching Radial Road 10 in (R-10) Navotas City, will primarily cater to the transport logistics industry that operates between the port of Manila and Central and Northern Luzon provinces.

Freight forwarders, logistics services providers, truckers, and terminal operators —who are currently affected by the congestion through the major streets of Manila — may soon benefit from the direct access to NLEX from the R10 and vice-versa. Cargo trucks shall hence be spared from the truck ban and will subsequently experience quicker turn around.

Faster travel means more trips for cargo trucks, lesser trucking costs, and will even lead to on-time delivery of goods to different inland destinations.

Spurring economic activities

It can be recalled that in 2017 the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), reported that traffic congestion in Metro Manila results in an estimated economic productivity loss of around P3.5 billion a day and which will increase to about P6.0 billion per day by 2030 if no interventions would take place.

With the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 nearing its completion, one can already see a light at the end of the tunnel. Further, as the road network is crucial in creating an enabling business environment, the new expressway will also spur economic activities in the CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) area.

Cuts travel time by 50%

“We are optimistic that through the help of our partners in government, we will be able to finish the project in October this year to further deliver seamless and safe travel to our motorists,” said NLEX Corp. senior vice president for Tollways Development and Engineering Raul Ignacio.

With this alternative access to Central and Northern Luzon, we can expect improvement in traffic along major thoroughfares in Metro Manila and daily users can head straight to the NLEX bypassing EDSA and the Balintawak Toll Plaza altogether.

Travelers from Manila to North Luzon and vice-versa may anticipate a shorter travel time as the elevated expressway of Harbor Link has direct routes between the North Luzon, CAMANAVA, and Northern Manila areas. It also permits an average speed of 80kph, which cuts travel time by almost half.

Consequently, driving from NLEX Valenzuela to R10 in Navotas may only take 11 minutes from the usual travel time of 23 minutes (via Balintawak-Monumento), while driving From NLEX to Navotas via Cloverleaf Balintawak-A. Bonifacio/C3 may soon take only 13 minutes as compared to the current travel time of 26 minutes.

Much improved road safety

Motorists and the riding public are also assured of high-quality NLEX pavement that they have been used to when regularly traveling between Manila and the northern provinces of Luzon.

The NLEX Corp. – due to better road pavement and tighter traffic management – is geared to achieve much lower road incidents.

As the government’s PPP partner, NLEX Corp. provides fast, safe, and efficient transport infrastructure in the Philippines.


MPIC submits bid for Malaysia project

By Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star), as seen on, April 23, 2018 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has made an offer for a tollway project in Malaysia.

“I know we’ve submitted a bid, an offer for one of their tollways,” MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan told reporters.

He said the group expects to get the result on the offer made for the tollway project in greater Kuala Lumpur “in the next month or two.”

In 2016, MPIC was in talks for a 50-kilometer tollway project in Kuala Lumpur, but the parties decided not to pursue the deal.

At present, MPIC is involved in the tollways business in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

In particular in Indonesia, MPIC, through tollway arm Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., has a 48.27 percent indirect stake in PT Nusantara Infrastructure Tbk which is focused on five main business pillars such as road operations, seaport management, water utility management, renewable energy power plant, and telecommunication tower management.

As for Thailand, MPIC holds 29.45 percent in Don Muang Tollway Public Co. Ltd., a major toll road operator in Bangkok.

In Vietnam, MPIC has a 45 percent effective interest in CII Bridges and Roads Investment Joint Stock Co. which has road and bridge projects in and around Ho Chi Minh City.

Locally, MPIC operates the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway.

Currently, MPIC is building other tollways projects like the Cavite-Laguna Expressway, NLEX – South Luzon Expressway Connector Road, NLEX-Harbor Link Segment 10, C-5 South Link, and Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway.

The infrastructure conglomerate is not only involved in tollways, but in other businesses as well, such as water, power, hospitals, railways, and logistics.

Metro Pacific Tollways introduces latest tech to speed traffic

By Manila Bulletin, as seen on, February 16, 2018, 10:00 PM

Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), the tollways arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), announced the introduction of the latest Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)  technology to ease travel  through major tollroads managed by  MPTC in Northern and Southern Luzon.

EasyDrive (powered by EasyTrip) is the country’s first RFID sticker tag used for toll payment instead of cash. It uses a paper-thin battery-less sticker that contains a chip and antenna; attached to a vehicle’s windshield or headlamp, it can be used at EasyDrive dedicated or mix toll lanes on Cavitex.

The times are even longer during public holidays such as All Saints’ Day, Holy Week,  and Christmas holidays, MPTC said.MPTC said  163,162 private vehicles are now installed with MPTC’s RFID tag stickers, allowing them to quickly pass through toll gates in the north and south.  According to data, it takes 9 to 12 seconds to pass through SLEX/NLEX and Cavitex toll plazas for motorists paying cash, but only 2 to 4 seconds to enter and exit of cars with EasyDrive or EasyTrip stickers.

“It is our corporate objective to provide motorists with an efficient and quicker access of expressways to allow them to reach their destination conveniently and faster,” Rodrigo Franco, MPTC president, said.

Similar RFID sticker tags are now being used on tollways in the United States, Canada, Taiwan,  and in some parts in Europe, he said.

Franco also announced that MPTC has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to provide RFID sicker tags to its emergency vehicles to allow them to respond to emergencies.

The RFID sticker tags were installed in  100 MMDA emergency response vehicles bearing an initial load of R500. Upon depletion of the initial load,  the MMDA will take over the responsibility of loading the RFID tags for quick and easy access to toll roads.

The partnership is expected to speed up the MMDA’s emergency response vehicles’ entry and exit in the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway toll areas in the north, and Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) in the south.

“We are pleased to partner with MPIC/MPTC,” said Danny Lim, MMDA chairman. “This will allow us to quickly extend our Metro-wide services particularly in areas within the metropolis where we need to pass through NLEX and Cavitex toll plazas.”

NLEX Allocates P19B Capex To Help Improve Metro Manila Traffic

This year, the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Corporation is setting aside P19 billion in capital expenditure to help solve Metro Manila’s daily traffic bottlenecks.

However, the tollways firm clarified that the capex figure will still be subject to review and adjustment, depending on the result of its ongoing tariff adjustment discussion with the government, according to NLEX Corporation President and CEO Rodrigo Franco.

The bulk of the company’s 2018 capital expenditure will be used to construct the urban portions of the NLEX, such as the Harbor Link Segment 10, including the R10 Section in Dagat-Dagatan, Navotas City and the Public Private Partnership (PPP) project of the Department of Public Works (DPWH), the NLEX-South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Connector Road project.

Expected to be opened this year, Harbor Link Segment 10 is a 5.7-km elevated expressway traversing the NLEX from Smart Connect Interchange and crossover Mac Arthur Highway in Valenzuela City with down ramps along C3/5th Avenue Interchange in Caloocan City.

Once the Harbor Link is completed, travel between the Ports of Manila and the NLEX will take only 10 minutes and will provide direct expressway access for commercial vehicles, especially heavy trucks.

Around 40,000 vehicles traversing the Ports of Manila and the NLEX daily will benefit from the Harbor Link.

The tollways firm will also start construction of the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road Project, an 8-kilometer all-elevated PPP project of the DPWH above the existing PNR tracks from the C3/5th Avenue Interchange in Caloocan City to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Sta. Mesa, Manila.

Upon its completion in 2021, the elevated expressway will provide motorists another alternative to the daily heavy traffic on EDSA. It is also expected to reduce travel time between NLEX and SLEX from 2 hours to only 20 minutes.

In support of the continuing infrastructure initiatives of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the tollways firm will also undertake capacity expansion of the 8-km Subic Freeport Expressway.

NLEX Corporation will construct 16 new lane kilometers thus boosting Subic port as a prime logistics hub.

Through its subsidiary, NLEX Ventures Corporation (NVC), the tollways firm has also started construction of a new expressway service facility and rest area along Km. 17 Southbound of the NLEX.

The new 15,500-square meter facility, called NLEX Drive & Dine, will follow a mini-mall concept that will feature a wide variety of retail, food and commercial services for NLEX customers.

To support the rapidly growing areas north of Manila, NLEX Corporation is also constructing two major traffic decongestion projects in Mabalacat City, Pampanga such as the new Sta. Ines Interchange and the new Mabiga Interchange in 2018.

The conversion of the narrow SCTEX Mabiga exit into a full diamond interchange with new entry and exit toll plazas will introduce another alternative access to the SCTEX via the MacArthur Highway.

“These investments support the government’s initiatives to ease the daily traffic woes of our commuters, drive commerce, and ensure safe and convenient travel in our expressways and maintain high-quality service” Franco concluded.