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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Cebu Governor explores Public-Private Partnership for the completion of Metro Cebu Expressway

By John Rey Saavedra

In Cebu City, the push to finalize the Metro Cebu Expressway via a public-private partnership (PPP) is seen as a solution to overcome delays caused by budgetary constraints, according to an official statement made on Tuesday.

Kenneth Cobonpue, co-chair of the Regional Development Council-Central Visayas, voiced his support for Governor Gwendolyn Garcia’s proposal to advance the expressway project, which would span from Naga City in southern Cebu to Danao City in the north, through collaboration with private entities.

Cobonpue stated to the Philippine News Agency, ‘The governor’s unwavering determination ensures the timely completion of this long-awaited project, benefiting all Cebuanos.

Cobonpue, an internationally renowned designer, said the 73.7-kilometer expressway is designed to provide an alternative highway to decongest roads in highly urbanized cities’ major thoroughfares.

However, the project encountered environmental and construction challenges under the management of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Central Visayas.

Cobonpue said the recent setback in Naga City further underscored the urgency for a strategic intervention by the province of Cebu to salvage the project’s momentum.

Garcia offered to the DPWH to allow the provincial government to take over the Metro Cebu Expressway construction project and implement it through PPP.

The governor cited existing joint ventures with Filinvest Land and Manila Water while it is set to sign a joint venture agreement with Spain-based Acciona Energia Global to build a 150-megawatt solar plant in Daanbantayan, north of Cebu.

With an indicative cost of PHP94 billion, the proposed expressway is composed of four segments but 4.2-kilometer Segment 3 from Naga City to Minglanilla is ongoing, while the rest of the segments are yet to proceed and open for PPP arrangements. (PNA)

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