Philippines urged to double toll roads in 5 years

By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Oct 29 2010 10:18 AM | Updated as of Oct 29 2010 11:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The country must double its toll roads to 600 kilometers in the next five years to make the Philippines more competitive.

Speaking before foreign businessmen at the Dusit Hotel yesterday afternoon, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. president and chief executive Ramoncito S. Fernandez said that the Philippines only has 300 kilometers of toll road compared to Thailand’s 1,000 km.

“The real target is over 1,000 km. but if we want to be realistic the goal should be 600 km. in five years,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez noted that the expansion of the country’s toll road system could lead to the development of more tourist destinations such as the Anawangin Cove in Zambales, sand dunes in Ilocos Norte, the Ambuclao dam and the relic of the Holy Cross in Tarlac.

For next year, Fernandez said that the government is developing at least seven road projects that will be included in the Public Private Partnership. These are the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) to Mac Arthur, Valenzuela and North Harbor, the expansion of the Light Rail Transit 1 (LRT1) by 12 kilometers to Bacoor Cavite, the expansion of LRT 2 until Masinag, the connection of the NLEX North Balintawak to Buendia, the Cavite Laguna (CALA) expressway road, the Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEX) and the seamless expressway or the connection of the NLEX and the SCTEX.

For Metro Pacific, Fernandez said they are undertaking the P10 billion segment nine and 10 and the P21 billion NLEX and SLEX.

Segment 10 is linking McArthur Highway in Valenzuela to Port Area in Manila while Segment 9, will connect McArthur Highway to NLEX. Another upcoming project of MPTC is segment 11, an elevated road project to connect the North Harbor area to Buendia in Makati.

The three projects make up the second phase or expansion of NLEX. Phase 2 consists of four road projects: the just-opened P2.1-billion Segment 8.1 or the NLEX-Mindanao Avenue Link, a 2.7-kilometer expressway that connects NLEX at its Valenzuela junction to Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City providing motorists with additional entry and exit ramps to the NLEX; Segment 8.2 which will link Mindanao Avenue to Katipunan Avenue and to C5; Segment 9, 10, and 11.