Metro Pacific Tollways Corp eyes green financing to pay part of CALAX loans

Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 06 2021 07:15 PM

MANILA - Metro Pacific Tollways Corp on Monday said it is hoping to use green financing to partly pay for loans used for the construction of the Cavite Laguna Expressway or CALAX.

The expressway is estimated to cost over P35 billion and is expected to be completed by 2023.

“We have financing in place for CALAX, for the completion of CALAX. The idea is at some point to consider green financing to refinancing our loans in CALAX," said MPTC chief financial officer Christopher Lizo.

"Of course, with green financing comes an obligation to keep or maintain certain standards, in terms of our commitment to make the road sustainable. It is a medium-term aspiration. It is not something we can do tomorrow," he added.

Metro Pacific Tollways Corp on Monday also signed a deal with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for its CALAX Biodiversity Program.

MPTC will be the first private sector partner of USAID's Sustainable Interventions for Biodiversity, Ocean and Landscapes or SIBOL, it said in a briefing.

Under the memorandum of understanding, USAID and CALAX Biodiversity program will look for ways to collaborate to make the 45-kilometer CALAX more sustainable.

USAID Chief of Party Ernesto Guiang said they have discussed initial ideas such as the "rewilding" process of planting trees along CALAX which aims to allow mother nature to recapture these spaces naturally as opposed to the usual tree planting "horticultural" approach commonly used along highways.

USAID's SIBOL and MPT South will work together to discuss 6 specific goals before determining the exact parameters of their partnership.

The goals are:

• Improving natural resources management
• Advancing science-based decision making
• Fostering community engagement and promotion of positive environmental behaviors
• Promoting sustainable supply chains and sustainable financing
• Supporting compliance promotion and enforcement of laws
• Developing sound policies and environmental governance

The company said it is hoping to tap USAID for similar projects for its other assets.

The international business community has gotten more serious about sustainability and climate change, and it has done so by enforcing environment, social and governance standards on listed corporations, and offering more affordable "green financing" loans to compliant businesses.