Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway project seen to move forward in February

MANILA, Philippines – Two infrastructure units of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) expect to bag the original proponent status for the development of the 49-kilometer Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway (CTBEX) by the end of February.

MPIC-led MPCALA Holdings Incorporated and Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) are the proponents for the CTBEX. The project is a 47-kilometer tollway, with a two-by-two lane carriageway traversing mostly the rural areas of Silang, Tagaytay, Amadeo, Mendez, Alfonso, and Magallanes in Cavite; as well as Nasugbu in Batangas. 

"CTBEX is almost complete with the documentation. We hope to be able to get the original proponent status by the end of this month," Luigi Bautista, MPCALA Holdings president and chief executive officer, told reporters on the sidelines of a groundbreaking ceremony last week.

The MPCALA chief said what stalled the original proponent status was the clarification on who would be the proponent – MPCALA or MPTC.

"There was a clarification being made on who will be the proponent. So the proponent will be Metro Pacific Tollways and MPCALA Holdings. Instead of just MPCALA," Bautista said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said on its website that the proposed tollway's "feasibility study and other submitted documents were forwarded to other DPWH offices for their comments."

It was last December 5 when MPCALA and MPTC completed the required documents for the proposed CTBEX project.

Once the Metro Pacific groups bag the original proponent status and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approves the project, the government can start the Swiss challenge for the CTBEX.

Based on the build-operate-transfer law, other private investors can submit competing offers under a Swiss challenge, while the original proponent will be given the right to match them.

Bautista said his firm expects to deliver right-of-way from the 4th quarter of 2018 until the 4th quarter of 2019.

The CTBEX will start at the Silang East Interchange of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX). It will have 8 major interchanges, two spur roads, and a number of overpasses.

Construction of the expressway is expected to start by the 1st half of 2019 and would be completed by mid-2022.

It would only take less than an hour for motorists from Manila to reach Tagaytay once the 49-kilometer tollway is built, said Bautista. –