DPWH 7: Metro Cebu Expressway still a long way from completion

THE Metro Cebu Expressway (MCE), a 73.75-kilometer highway that will connect Naga City in the south to Danao City in the north, is far from completion.

This, as only 60 percent of the 2018 project component and less than 10 percent of the 2019 project component of the MCE’s third segment has been accomplished. This small stretch of road is found in the villages of Pangdan and Cantao-an in Naga City.

From Naga City, the MCE will traverse Minglanilla, Talisay City, Cebu City, Mandaue City, Consolacion, Liloan and Compostela before reaching its end in Danao City.

Pending the approval of the unsolicited proposals from private firms, the construction works for the expressway’s first and second segments are also stalled for 2020, said Edgar Tabacon, director of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7.

LGUs’ help needed

In an interview Friday, Jan. 3, Tabacon renewed his appeal to the local government units (LGUs) to help the DPWH in the road right-of-way (ROW) acquisition. The LGUs, he said, could help in convincing affected lot owners to sell their properties to the government.

As of January, Tabacon said, only the MCE’s third segment is undergoing construction.

The 2018 MCE project component was allocated P300 million, while the 2019 project component also secured a budget of P300 million. Completed in the two project components were activities related to civil works, including excavation, masonry and concreting.

Budget

Tabacon said a P200 million budget was allocated for the 2020 project component of the expressway’s third segment.

However, it was not yet awarded to the winning bidder pending the approval of the 2020 General Appropriations Act.

For the entire third segment, the DPWH 7 needs some P800 million for its ROW acquisition, said Tabacon.

Feasibility study

According to the agency’s feasibility study, the expressway project costs P28.018 billion, including the payments for the ROW acquisition and civil works. Of the amount, P13.4 billion is for the MCE’s first segment; P10.3 billion, second segment; and P4.4 billion, third segment.

Segments

The MCE’s first segment is the arterial road from the Minglanilla-Talisay boundary to the Mandaue City-Consolacion boundary, passing through Cebu City. It spans 26 kilometers.

The second segment starts from the Mandaue City-Consolacion boundary to Danao City with a length of 29.799 kilometers, while the third segment covers the 17.15-kilometer length of the Minglanilla-Talisay boundary to Naga City. Tabacon said they target to finish the entire third segment by 2022.

Meanwhile, he said there were three firms that expressed intent to undertake the first and second segments of the MCE through a public-private partnership (PPP) program.

The firms have yet to submit some necessary documents to the DPWH 7. (WBS)