By Denise A. Valdez, July 23 2019; Business World

Image Credit to Business World

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said it wants to expedite the opening of the entire length of the 7.7-kilometer C5 Link project, in order to connect Taguig to the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) by the end of 2021.

Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar said at the opening of the 2.2-kilometer section of the expressway Tuesday he is targeting to complete the remainder of the toll road earlier than its 2022 timeline.

“I’m looking forward to the full opening by 2021… We set high goals but we hit those goals,” he said.

The concessionaire for the project’s construction, Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. (CIC), said this new timeline is possible if right of way is delivered immediately.

CIC President and General Manager Roberto V. Bontia told reporters after the opening ceremony for the road segment: “A lot of it really depends on the right of way… If DPWH can actually deliver on the right of way, the end of 2021 is doable.”

He noted that construction is “exact science,” and as soon as the rights are obtained are cleared, manpower and resources can be deployed to complete the project.

The P12.65 billion C5 Link project is composed of four sections, the first one being the 2.2-kilometer segment from Merville, a subdivision in Parañaque, to C5 Road, which was opened yesterday.

Next to be constructed is the 2.1-kilometer segment from Merville to RSG Subdivision, the right of way for which has been delivered 100% to the concessionaire.

However, the right of way for the segment from Sucat to RSG Subdivision is still less than 30% delivered; for the segment between R-1 and Sucat the equivalent proportion is about 69%. All these processes have been factored into CIC’s estimate that the entire 7.7-kilometer C5 Link project will be completed by early 2022.

The C5 Link project, once fully operational, is expected to help cut travel time to Taguig from Parañaque, Las Piñas and Cavite to around 30 minutes.

CIC is controlled by Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., the tollway unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC). MPIC is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being PLDT, Inc. and Philex Mining Corp.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group. — Denise A. Valdez