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DPWH: Capitol to take over Cebu expressway project

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | April 07,2024 - 10:10 AM

A portion of Metro Cebu Expressway

Contributed Photo

CEBU, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has entrusted the Cebu Provincial Government to oversee and finish the Metro Cebu Expressway (MCE) Project.

Lawyer Arjay Peralta, representing the DPWH’s Public-Private Partnership Service Office, delivered a letter from DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan to Governor Gwen Garcia. The letter was addressed to National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan and Public-Private Partnership Center (PPPC) Executive Director Ma. Cynthia Hernandez.

READ: Gwen wants Capitol to take over Cebu Expressway project through PPP

In the letters dated April 4, Secretary Bonoan informed Secretaries Balisacan and Hernandez that DPWH is fully supporting Capitol’s leadership in completing the MCE Project through a public-private partnership, Sugbo News, Capitol’s news outlet, reported.

“This is to respectfully inform that the Department (DPWH) is delisting the MCE Project from the list of Priority Infrastructure Flagship Programs (IFPS) / Public Investment Program (PIP),” stated Bonoan’s letter.

Peralta shared with Sugbo News that despite the project’s transfer to Cebu Province, DPWH would provide assistance and support to the Capitol throughout the process.

He stressed that NEDA and PPPC approval is not required for the Capitol to proceed with opening the project to potential bidders.

“Napaka-importante ng participation ng local government in the sense na on their own, they can ask for investors or they can look for any proponents na gustong mag-implement nitong project na to,” Peralta stated.

With the removal of MCE from DPWH’s priority projects list, the allocated budget will revert to the national treasury as the Capitol explores financing options for the project.

On March 15, Garcia offered to the DPWH to let the Provincial Government take over the Metro Cebu Expressway project as it eyes to implement it through a PPP.

Garcia stressed the importance of finding a better way to handle the issues with the Cebu Expressway project, which she believes that involving a private company through a PPP could make things smoother and speed up development.

“We are in the best position because we can deal with our local government units,” the governor had said of the Capitol’s capability to handle the Cebu Expressway project with the private sector.

Last year, a construction failure occurred at one of the project’s environmentally sensitive sections in the City of Naga, resulting in extensive damage and rendering the MCE impassable.

Once finished, the MCE will connect the cities of Naga in the south and Danao in the north, serving as an alternative highway traversing Cebu’s mountainous terrain.

Under Garcia’s leadership, Cebu has demonstrated success in PPPs, including ventures with Filinvest Land Inc. and Spanish firm Acciona Energia.

With this recent development, the Provincial Economic Enterprise Council, chaired by the governor, will solicit proposals from the private sector interested in partnering with the province to realize the MCE Project. /with reports from Carl Lorenciana



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TAGS: Capitol, cebu news, Cebu Provincial Government, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7, Metro Cebu Expressway

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