SMC to invest P168 B on toll roads

Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - March 24, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) has earmarked close to P170 billion to bankroll the construction of modern toll roads and highways, to help the government undertake major infrastructure projects nationwide over the next few years.

Ramon S. Ang, president and chief operating officer of SMC, said the conglomerate is investing P168 billion to put the country’s toll roads at par with those in neighboring countries in Asia.

“We look at infrastructure as an opportunity to participate in the growth of our country.  Quality infrastructure will change and impact lives,” Ang said.

SMC through South Luzon Tollways Corp. (SLTC) is spending P13.1 billion to construct the Southern Luzon Expressway-Toll Road 4 (SLEX-TR4) extending the highway all the way to Lucena in Quezon from Sto. Tomas in Batangas.

The four-lane, 58-kilometer expressway project is seen to make travel to and from Southern Tagalog provinces such as Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, and Bicol, faster and safer. It would cut travel time between Sto. Tomas and Lucena to just one hour from the usual four hours.

 “The tollway will help encourage new investments across these regions. Land values will appreciate; new businesses will emerge. Because of the new roads, progress will be brought to the towns and barangays. And we are happy that we are in a position to contribute,” Ang said.

According to Ang, the project could also help in addressing peace and order concerns by making the provinces more accessible than before.

According to Ang, the proposed tollroad to be completed by 2019 would have four lanes preventing head-on collision, guard rails, median barriers, well-lighted toll plazas, and CCTV cameras, among other safety features.

The project is divided into five sections with Section 1 covering Sto. Tomas, Batangas to Macban Laguna (10.58 kms); Macban, Laguna to San Pablo, Laguna (12.2 kms); San Pablo, Laguna to Tiaong, Quezon (8.1-kms); Tiaong to Candelaria, Quezon (14.4 kms); and Candelaria to Lucena City, Quezon (12.31-kms).

SLTC said that it is targeting mid-2017 for the completion of the first section from Sto. Tomas to Macban. Local government officials have welcomed and expressed support for the project, saying that it would boost trade, commerce, and tourism in Regions 4 and 5.

Aside from SLEX, SMC also operates the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), the at-grade and elevated Skyway system and the recently upgraded and expanded Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway.

SMC has been focusing on tollroad projects including the P15.5 billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) expressway project through Vertex Tollways Development Inc., the P24 billion TPLEX through Philippine Infrastructure Development Corp. (PIDC), and the P26.5 billion Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project via Citra Central Expressway Corp. (CCEC).


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