Tollway firm-turned mobility company Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) said its domestic project pipeline is running dry with most of its major projects in the country slated for completion next year.

MPTC president and CEO Rodrigo Franco in a webinar yesterday said the company is gearing up for the completion of several big projects by 2022.

These include the start of operations of the P30.5 billion Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway by the first quarter of next year, as well as the completion of the P23.3 billion NLEX Connector project, of which phase 1 will be finished by the second quarter and phase 2 by the fourth quarter.

For completion by the third quarter of next year are the CALAX Cavite segment and the NLEX Segment 8.2 Sec. 1A, while the P17.2 billion CAVITEX C5 Link will be finished by the fourth quarter.

“So right now, we are about to complete most of our big projects but unfortunately, our project pipeline is now dry. We don’t have many projects, we have a few that are about to start construction,” Franco said.

Franco said that unlike MPTC’s business in Indonesia where it has a number of projects on the pipeline which are ready to commence construction, the company does not have a healthy project pipeline in the Philippines.

He said the pandemic has also brought some uncertainty on demand, which led the company to reprioritize the start of new projects.

“For the incoming administration, on the top of our wish list in terms of new projects, we hope that the bottleneck in terms of awarding projects will be addressed so we can have new projects and help in the economic recovery,” he said.

“We hope we can fast-track the approval and project award process,” Franco said.

One of MPTC’s major projects waiting for final approval for some time now is the P22.43-billion Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway (CTBEX).

MPTC unit-MPCALA has been granted the original proponent status (OPS) by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the CTBEX proposal in July 2018.

It is one of the first projects that have been granted OPS by the DPWH under the current administration.

MPCALA Holdings Inc. president and general manager Roberto Bontia said last month that the company and the government were still at the stage of discussing the parameters, terms, and conditions for it to be able to undertake the Swiss challenge.

The CTBEX proposal will connect from the west of Silang East Interchange of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway and will pass through Silang, Pook, Amadeo, Tagaytay, Mendez, Alfonso, Magallanes, Tuy and Nasugbu.

The project was conceived in early 2016 in line with MPTC’s desire and commitment to help bring progress to the western part of Southern Luzon.

Franco said MPTC  serves more than 700,000 vehicles per day in all its expressways which has a total length of more than 400 kilometers.

“Looking at MPTC in terms of our traffic forecast, in our expressways, we expect an additional 32 percent of vehicle (traffic) in our roads next year,” he said.

Franco said MPTC is also expanding the scope of its business with the recent introduction of a new business unit called MPT Mobility Inc.

“We no longer consider ourselves as toll road company, but we consider ourselves more of a mobility company,” he said.

“The reason for that is when we examine the needs of our customers, we realized that for them, traveling on the expressway is only a small portion of their mobility journey. They need some more products and services to make their daily journey more pleasant. So we established this subsidiary which we call MPT Mobility. Its goal is to provide more products and services to our expressway customers,” Franco said.

Source: Pilipino Star Ngayon