Public Works Undersecretary for Planning and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Ma. Catalina Cabral said these projects include the rebidding of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (Calax); the North Luzon and South Luzon Expressways connector road (different from the unsolicited proposal by the Metro Pacific Investments Corp.); expansion, operation and maintenance of the Plaridel Bypass road; and the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike (LLED), the biggest PPP infrastructure by DPWH by far.
Calax, the P35.4-billion, 45-kilometer toll road that aims to spur development of areas south of Metro Manila, was ordered for a rebid by President Benigno Aquino III after citing the P8.4-billion gap between a disqualified bidder and the qualified bidder, noting that the government is obligated “to get the best deal for our people.”
The NLEX-SLEX connector road, meanwhile, will be an 8-kilometer elevated toll road along the alignment of the rail and will be subject to a Swiss challenge, Cabral said.
The Plaridel Bypass road is a 24.61-kilometer arterial road that will link NLEX in Balagtas, Bulacan to the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway, which is also called the Maharlika Highway, in San Rafael, Bulacan.
Lastly, the LLED is envisioned to provide a high-standard highway-cum-dike that will facilitate traffic flow and mitigate flooding in the western coastal communities along Laguna Lake, covering Bicutan/Taguig in Metro Manila through Calamba to Los Baños in Laguna.
CLLEx auction in 2016
Cabral, in a presentation during the 2015 Supply Chain Outlook and induction of new Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines (SCMAP) officers held on February 9, said that for next year, DPWH will also bid out the Central Link Luzon Expressway (CLLEx).
CLLEx is a four-lane expressway development that goes east from NLEX and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway up to Baler, Casiguran, Aurora.
On the other hand, projects under the PPP scheme that DPWH is currently implementing include the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway Link, and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway 2.
As for other road projects, Cabral said DPWH has already paved 27,402 kilometers, or 86%, of the country’s total road network. By 2016, the highways department targets the completion of paving 1,005 kilometers of the road network, which has a total length of 32,526 kilometers. However, Cabral noted that of this total, only 15% are national roads and the rest local roads governed by different local government units.
Cabral said that last year, DPWH was looking at reclassifying local roads into national roads so “they can be properly maintained by the national government.”
She pointed out how these projects have made the country globally competitive, citing the 2014 Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum where the country jumped from 114th place to 87th out of 144 countries rated on the quality of their roads.
She noted that following the institution of several key reforms, DPWH was able to save P38.98 billion from 2010 to December 2014, which could be rolled back to other projects. Moreover, by 2016, DPWH is one of three agencies that will pilot electronic bidding. – Roumina Pablo
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