MPTC jumpstarts Visayas expansion

CEBU CITY: Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), the tollway arm of the Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, has started expanding outside the Luzon region by commencing the construction of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) Project.

“This is very important to us. In the Philippines, it is our first expressway project outside of Luzon. Before, all of our projects were in Luzon, and now we’re expanding to Visayas, and then hopefully will lead to Mindanao as well,” MPTC President and Chief Executive Officer Rodrigo Franco told reporters in a chance interview.

Franco made the statement on Thursday during the launch of the 8.5-kilometer CCLEX project, which is being undertaken by subsidiary Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC).

MPTC is the holding company of the Luzon-based North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX).

“We’re looking at the projects of the national government and see, because they made some announcements that they would be constructing roads and then bidding out the O&M (operations and maintenance). Those might be of interest,” Franco said, referring to possible projects in Mindanao.

The CCLEX project is a public-private partnership of CCLEC with the local government units of Cebu. The contractor of the project is the Cebu Link Joint Venture, a consortium of Spain-based Acciona Construccion S.A and Philippine-based First Balfour Inc. and D.M. Consunji Inc.

“Total project cost, P26 billion to P29 billion,” Franco said. The expressway, which will link mainland Cebu to Mactan via Cebu City and Cordova municipality, is expected to reduce congestion in the involved areas, thus spurring economic growth in Cebu.

“It’s eight kilometers, it would take you seven to 10 minutes to cross the bridge. It will cut the travel time by half because the existing bridges are on the northern part of Cebu City. Now, this is the first bridge on the southern part of Cebu City,” Franco said.

“We’re expecting traffic initially of around 40,000 vehicles per day,” he added, noting that the project is expected to be completed in 2021. Toll fee will be around P89, according to Franco.

He also said that there might be upcoming MPTC projects in Cebu following the CCLEX as “our sister companies are also exploring other opportunities here.”

CCLEX is also known as the third bridge connecting mainland Cebu to Mactan. Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said that the government is looking at the possibility of constructing a fourth bridge, as advised by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Mayroon kaming ginagawang plano sa (We are making plans for a) fourth bridge. We are hoping to start pag natapos na yung ginagawa ng JICA (once the one that is being built by JICA is completed). We are hoping we can finish [the]engineering design and feasibility [study]this year, para next year makapagsimula na [so that next year we can already start],” Villar said.

“Based on studies, masyado nang congested yung dalawang bridges (the two bridges are already too congested),” Villar added.



Be ready for ‘Cordova-boom’

Developers urged to position projects for take off of Cordova’s economy spurred by 3rd bridge project

Prospects are high for the third-class municipality of Cordova as construction of the third bridge connecting mainland Cebu to Mactan Island starts.

Land value is expected to increase as more investors are seen to consider the town as an investment destination.

For property management and research firm Colliers, the Cebu – Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) project should beckon property developers, both local and national, to pursue development projects in the town which is on the same island as the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

For developers, our recommendation will be to look at the land bank within Cordova that they could acquire as early as now. If they don’t have the current land bank, they could partner with local developers,” said Colliers’ Research Manager Joey Bondoc, in an interview.

Since Cordova is on Mactan Island, Colliers suggests that developers look at leisure-oriented estates and townships to be built in the town in order to capture the expected increase in the number of tourists coming to Cebu with the opening of MCIA’s Terminal 2 just last July 1.

The alternative link provided by CCLEX, which removes the need to pass through Mandaue City when coming from Mactan going to Cebu City, will make Cordova town attractive to investors, Bondoc added.

According to Bondoc, bigger national developers could bring in their expertise in developing large expanses of land and partner with local developers and homegrown brands in pursuing projects in Cordova.

“The CCLEX is one of the projects that we mentioned that will complement the recently completed Terminal 1 of the MCIA. Since it’s part of Mactan, it will boost not just Lapu-Lapu City but also Cordova,” he said.

The Cebu – Cordova Link Expressway Corp. (CCLEC), a local subsidiary of the Manny Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), is investing close to P30 billion for the project.

Last Thursday, the civil works contractor of the project and CCLEC officials started with the ceremonial piling works for the project.

It is targeted to be completed by 2021.

The civil works contractor of the project is the Cebu Link Joint Venture (CLJV), a consortium of Spain-based Acciona Construccion S.A., and Philippine-based First Balfour Inc. and D.M. Consunji Inc.

Economic activity

Providing inter-island connectivity, which helps decongest traffic going to and from Mactan Island is also a contributor of growth in economic activities.

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) 7 Regional Director Efren Carreon said that in order to spur more economic activities in a certain area like
Cordova, creating access should be prioritized.

“This is really a very important infrastructure that will bring about economic development not only in the two local government units but the entire Province of Cebu and the entire region of Central Visayas,” Carreon said.

With this is an expected offshoot which is the increase in the value of land and the selling prices of these properties.

While this may contribute to a higher cost of doing business for investors wanting to go to Cordova, Carreon said this is negated by the economic benefits that can be derived from doing so.

CCLEC President and General Manager Allan Alfon said that the CCLEX project would transform Cordova into an “investors’ paradise.”

In fact, he said, he’s heard several investors had already expressed interest in setting up shop in Cordova including a big developer of industrial estates that would want to locate in the town and introduce multi-national locators there.

He said that there are also some real estate developers, both local and from Manila, that are looking for properties to buy in Cordova.

He said these developers are interested in putting up residential condominiums, horizontal developments, and even commercial and leisure developments like hotels.

In order to prepare for this economic boom, the local government of Cordova has also started pursuing projects to improve their town as early as now.

Cordova Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy-Cho said they had already started talking with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in improving road networks in the town through road widening and road concreting projects.

They have also started implementing a traffic code in the town.

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