CCLEX Signing

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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New bridge project to employ 1,000

CLOSE to 1,000 workers will be hired to build the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX).

Majority of the workers will be sourced from Cebu, especially those from the town of Cordova and Cebu City, as well as in the neighboring provinces in the Visayas, said Cebu Link Joint Venture (CLJV) authorized representative Ruben Camba.

“We are looking to hire 800 to 1,000 workers,” said the CLJV official, saying this also includes expats and workers from Luzon.

CLJV is a consortium of Spanish firm Acciona Construccion SA, Lopez-led First Balfour Inc., and DM Consunji Inc., which was awarded the design and build contract for CCLEX yesterday at the Cebu City Waterfront Hotel and Casino.

Construction of the 8.5-kilometer toll bridge will start by the second quarter of 2018 and is up for completion in 2021. Along the process, the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corp. (CCLEC) is also expected to hire engineers and staff for the management and operation of the toll bridge.

Thousands of indirect jobs are also expected in the construction of the CCLEX, said Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. president and chief executive officer (CEO) Rodrigo E. Franco.

“Apart from direct workers, there will be indirect workers that would be hired by supporting businesses like the suplliers, subcontractors, and all the other parties that will be involved both in the construction and in the operation and maintenance,” said Franco.

Aside from jobs, the CCLEX, which provides an alternative link between Mactan Island and Metro Cebu, is seen to spur economic growth and boost investments, not just in Cebu City and Cordova, but the entire province.

The P22.6-billion expressway, once finished, will provide fast and convenient travel for motorists, as it will significantly reduce the distance between Cordova and Cebu City to 8.5 kilometers from 20.7 kilometers.

The CCLEX, the first of MPTC’s toll road expansion in Southern Philippines, will have two lanes on each direction and will feature the main twin cable-stayed bridge structure, viaduct, and causeway.

Toll fee will be P89 for Class 1 vehicles (cars), double of the amount for buses (P178), and triple for trucks (P267).