The tollroad arm of infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is setting aside a capital spending budget of P45 billion on new projects this year.
Christopher Lizo, chief financial officer of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., told reporters in a recent interview that the budget would be used for the completion of five projects, including its North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) to South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) connector road in Metro Manila.
Other projects in the spending pipeline are the Cavite Laguna Expressway, the R10 section of the NLEx Harbor Link Segment 10, the C5-South Link Expressway that will connect to the Cavite Expressway and the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway, which will be the third bridge between Cebu and Mactan Island.
Lizo said capital spending last year was estimated at about P9 billion because of delays in project implementation.
“With the significant developments in the right of way acquisition, we are confident that the construction of the five projects can accelerate and completion can be finished earlier than expected,” Lizo told reporters.
The connector road is among the most anticipated projects in the pipeline. It suffered delays through most of the Aquino administration due to disagreements between government agencies.
The four-lane tollroad will run from C3 Road in Caloocan City to PUP in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
The 8-kilometer elevated project, partially using the alignment of railway tracks operated by the Philippine National Railways, will cut the roughly two-hour travel time between NLEx and SLEx to 20 minutes.
Metro Pacific Tollways president Rodrigo Franco said the P23-billion project will be completed by the end of 2021. Company officials had once hoped to finish the tollroad by 2016, or before the end of President Aquino’s term.
Metro Pacific Tollways’ other roads include Cavite Expressway and the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway. Its overseas portfolio includes tollroads in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.