MANILA— At least six public-private partnership (PPP) projects, which are expected to decongest major highways in Luzon and Mindanao, are being prioritized by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) this year.

DPWH Undersecretary for Planning and PPP Maria Catalina Cabral said the undertakings the department planned to implement include the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) Phase 2, the Quezon-Bicol Expressway, the Batangas City-Bauan Toll Road Project, the Davao-Digos Expressway, the TPLEX Extension, and the Delpan-Pasig-Marikina Expressway.

These projects are under or will undergo feasibility studies.

“Our government is pushing for the realization of these major road projects that are necessary to ease traffic congestion within city roads,” she said in a statement.

Cabral said the CLLEX Phase 2, which would be a 35.7-km. extension of the existing CLLEX Phase I from Cabanatuan City and San Jose City, was under procurement of the Transaction Advisory Services and Feasibility Study.

The feasibility study of the approximately 180-km. Quezon-Bicol Expressway, which will start at Pagbilao, Quezon and will end at Maharlika Highway in San Fernando, Camarines Sur, will be completed by the third quarter of the year.

The public works department is also preparing the Terms of Reference (TOR) and Estimated Budget for the contract (EBC) of three other projects: the Batangas City- Bauan Toll Road Project, a 10-km. road from Batangas City to Bauan, Batangas traversing the municipality of San Pascual, Batangas; 60-km. Davao-Digos Expressway, which will start from Bukidnon-Davao National Highway in Davao City to Digos-Sultan Kudarat Road in Digos City; and the 24.72-km. Delpan-Pasig-Marikina Expressway that will start in Manila, pass through Makati, and terminate at Marcos Highway in the city of Marikina through the Pasig River.

The EBC of TPLEX Extension, which is an approximately 54-km. toll road starting from the end of TPLEX Section 3B in Rosario, La Union to F. Ortega Highway at San Fernando, La Union, is also being prepared while its TOR has been transmitted for approval.

At the same time, the DPWH PPP Service is supervising the implementation of three ongoing projects: TPLEX’s Pozorrubio to Rosario subsection, Cavite-Laguna Expressway, and the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road.

The TPLEX project is 14-percent complete, while the Laguna segment of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway is 6-percent complete. The construction of the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road is set to start within the first quarter of 2018.