January 31, 2023

Filipino Guardian

Sentinels of Filipino Free Press

MPTC will not abandon CTBEX despite overlap with the San Miguel project

METRO Pacific Tollways Group said it will retain its original advocate status (OPS) for its unsolicited proposal to build the 50.43-kilometer Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway (CTBEX) despite San Miguel Holdings Corp.’s Cavite-Batangas Expressway. don’t give up ( CBEX) overlapping with the project.

The group will not participate as a challenger in Switzerland’s challenge to the unsolicited CBEX proposal filed by San Miguel Holdings with the Cavite provincial government, said Rodrigo E. Franco, President and Chief Executive Officer of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC).

“That would be messier; We don’t want to give up our original advocacy status,” he told BusinessWorld when asked if MPTC would participate in the Swiss challenge process.

Mr Franco pointed out that the targeting of CBEX overlaps with the group’s proposed P25.24 billion CTBEX, which is expected to connect Metro Manila-Cavite and Batangas.

“There is (some) overlap. That’s the scenario,” he said, noting that the group’s proposal still awaits approval from the National Economic and Development Agency (NEDA).

CBEX is a 27.06-kilometer toll road that passes through the communities of Silang, Amadeo, Tagaytay, Indang, Mendez and Alfonso in Cavite and Nasugbu in Batangas, where a San Miguel Corp. company. also operates a toll expressway, the 41.9-kilometer Southern Tagalog Arterial Road, commonly known as the STAR Tollway.

CBEX is said to have three access or exchange points. These are in Silang, Cavite; tagaytay; and Nasugbu/Alfonso.

Meanwhile, Metro Pacific Tollways Group’s CTBEX will mainly transit the rural areas of Silang, Tagaytay, Amadeo, Mendez, Alfonso and Magallanes in Cavite Province and Nasugbu in Batangas. In 2018, the Department of Works and Highways (DPWH) awarded MPCALA Holdings, Inc., a unit of MPTC, the OPS for CTBEX.

The project will have transfer points at Silang, Pook, Aguinaldo, Amadeo, Mendez, Alfonso, Magallanes and Nasugbu.

“This project aims to provide a free flowing alternative route with many facilities for traffic currently on the Aguinaldo Highway and Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road, which are congested during peak periods and weekends,” the DPWH said on its website.

The department also said coordination is ongoing with Metro Pacific Tollways Group for submission of the remaining documentation requirements to NEDA.

On CBEX, the Government of Cavite is currently seeking interested parties to pre-qualify and submit settlement proposals for selection of the province’s joint venture partner to develop the project.

The province’s private partner will “finance, design, build, operate and maintain the project during a 35-year concession period,” said Cavite Public-Private Partnership Selection Committee Chair Renato A. Abutan in a review.

The challengers are expected to submit their qualification documents, technical proposals and financial proposals as a bid package no later than January 24 next year, he also said.

MPTC is the toll road unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., one of three major Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., holds a controlling interest in BusinessWorld through its controlled Philippine Star Group. — Arjay L. Balinbin