DPWH 7: Use PPP, foreign aid to hasten Metro Cebu Expressway completion

·2 min read

TO PREVENT further delays in the implementation of the 73-kilometer (km) Metro Cebu Expressway, an official of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Central Visayas suggested to place the project under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) or to be funded by foreign aid.

Engineer Edgar Tabacon, DPWH 7 director, made the comment following what he said in an earlier report that the 17.15-kilometer Segment 3 of the project from the City of Naga to Minglanilla town had not been completed due to slow movement of the funding and may take 17 years to complete.

Tabacon told SunStar Cebu Monday, May 30, 2022 that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is currently creating the preliminary detailed engineering design for Segments 1 and 2 which stretch 57 kilometers from Talisay City to Danao City.

Tabacon said Jica is studying the viability of using tunneling and viaduct technology as a way to traverse Cebu’s hillsides without destroying them and to prevent landslides from occurring while the project will be implemented.

If the national government will use tunneling and viaduct technology, this could mean an increase in the cost of the project from P28 billion to P90 billion.

However, Tabacon said, the project’s overall length could be shortened from 73 kilometers to 56 kilometers if the national government would use the tunneling and viaduct technology.

Despite the significant increase in cost, Tabacon said the national government could actually save money on maintenance and other expenditures for the project as the technology to be used can prevent further soil erosion from occurring.

Tabacon said placing all segments of the project either through Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) or PPP could also hasten the implementation of the project.

If interested investors find the project viable, unsolicited proposals can be initiated like what occurred just before the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) started construction.

And like the CCLEX, the interested investor could implement a “build-operate-transfer” scheme if the government implements the Metro Cebu Expressway project through PPP or ODA.

The Metro Cebu Expressway project traverses the slopes in the mountains of the City of Naga in the south to Danao City in the north. It is seen to cut the travel time from Naga to Danao from three hours to one hour.

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