Fate of Cebu tollway now in hands of LGU – DPWH

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has given up control on the civil works of the Metro Cebu Expressway (MCE), leaving the fate of the project to the local government of Cebu.

Public Works Secretary Manuel Bonoan confirmed to reporters that his agency has passed on the obligation to finish the MCE to the Cebu government.

Bonoan said the local government wants to take over the construction of the MCE, as it plans to offer the project to the private sector through a public-private partnership (PPP).

Initially, the DPWH was supposed to bid out the contract for the operations and maintenance of the tollway that will run across Cebu. The agency had planned on soliciting offers from some of the biggest infrastructure builders such as the Metro Pacific Group.

“We started the Metro Cebu Expressway actually, but the local government opted that they be the ones to undertake it. They may engage a PPP [for the project] on their own,” Bonoan said.

“I understand that the governor actually wants to initiate the continuation of the expressway, as I think we completed only about 15 kilometers, from Naga City going to Cebu City,” he added.

The MCE will stretch for nearly 57 kilometers from Naga City to Danao City, with the objective of connecting the northern and southern sides of Cebu.

Based on the DPWH’s blueprint, the project will cost more than P94 billion, making it crucial for the public and private sectors to collaborate in funding its construction.

The DPWH has spent P1.87 billion in building segments of the MCE as of May 2023. The agency is tasked to deliver Segment 3A of the project, between Naga City and Minglanilla.

Segment 1, covering Minglanilla, Cebu City and Mandaue, will span over 25 kilometers and it is proposed for PPP. Segment 2 from Mandaue to Danao City will extend for at least 23 kilometers, but has yet to be reviewed by the National Economic and Development Authority.

Upon its completion, the MCE will speed up the travel time between Naga City and Consolacion to 30 minutes and between Naga City and Danao City to 50 minutes.

The Metro Pacific Group, operator of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway, is also banking on the development of the MCE to increase traffic volume on its bridge.

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