The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has fast-tracked delivery of right-of-way (ROW) for major infrastructure projects,
Because of this, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) was able to construct and open four new game-changing expressways, according to President and CEO Rodrigo E. Franco.
These includes the NLEX Harbor Link, the first section of Cavitex C5 Link, and the Laguna segment of Cavite-Laguna Expressway with a combined length of over 21 kilometers.
MPTC is the holding company of NLEX, SCTEX, CAVITEX, C5 LINK, CALAX, and the under construction CCLEX.
“We are even confident that we would be able to complete an additional 48 kilometers of new toll roads by 2021, which include the NLEX Connector and the other segments of C5 Link and CALAX,” he added.
While R.A. 10752, the new ROW Act, was passed in 2015, Secretary Mark A. Villar improved its implementation, speeding up the turnover of ROWs to concessionaires.
Firthermore, the DPWH created a task force to hasten the processing of ROW payments, noted MPTC Chief Project Development Officer Raul L. Ignacio.
“In revious years, MPTC advanced right-of-way payments for the DPWH to ensure that the ROW will be available when our construction team requires new areas to build on,” he explained.
“Now, payment processing was expedited and significantly reduced our advances to DPWH—benefitting both the progress of the project and the affected families,” Ignacio pointed out.
DPWH provided the necessary right-of-way for big-ticket projects such as the NLEX Harbor Link project, says NLEX Corporation President and General Manager J. Luigi L. Bautista.
The NLEX Harbor Link, which traverses Brgy. Karuhatan, Valenzuela City; Tinajeros in Malabon City; Caloocan Interchange in Grace Park C3/5th Avenue; and Navotas Interchange in North Bay Boulevard South, Navotas City, has cut travel time from Quezon City to the Port of Manila from two hours to 20 minutes.
“Though the Harbor Link experienced some ROW concerns in the past, Secretary Villar’s team enabled us to catch up so we can finish the project and provide an efficient alternate route for the public,” he added.
A case in point was the recently opened 2.6-kilometer section which was substantially completed in two years.
The DPWH is also pushing for the 16-month completion of the 5-kilometer elevated extension of the Harbor Link to Anda Circle.
NLEX is currently constructing the Connector Project which is the first public-private partnership project awarded during the term of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
“Despite the work slowdown due to the pandemic, the NLEX Connector is on-track and will be completed by 2021, as originally planned,” confirmed NLEX Corporation Vice President for Tollway Development and Engineering Nemesio Castillo.
“DPWH makes this possible by delivering the ROW in sections, allowing unhampered construction of the project.”