The Public Works Department said Monday it is evaluating the proposed P25-billion C3 Elevated Expressway jointly submitted by the Ayala-SM group.

“It’s in ICC [Investment Coordinating Committee] right now. We just received it, so we are still studying it,” Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said.

The country’s two biggest conglomerates jointly submitted an unsolicited proposal to build the elevated expressway that will connect the cities of Manila, Makati and Pasay, passing through the Ayala central business district.

AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ayala Corp. and SM Investments Corp., submitted the proposal to the Public Works Department to design, finance, construct, operate and maintain for a period of 35 years the proposed C3 Elevated Expressway.

The elevated toll road will run about 8.6 kilometers from Sta. Mesa, Manila to the Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City.

The proponents said C3 Ex would provide an alternative to Edsa, which was now congested, and improve access to the Manila Bay development areas, the Makati central business district and the cities of Mandaluyong, San Juan and Manila.

The project would have five interchanges to be located in Sta. Mesa, the Circuit Makati, Ayala-Gil Puyat, Roxas Boulevard and SM Mall of Asia complex.

It could cut the travel time from Quezon City to Makati City from one hour to only 15 minutes.

AC Infra president and chief executive Jose Rene Almendras said his company was expecting to get a final contract award by the second quarter of 2018.

The proposed project will go through the government process for unsolicited proposals under the Build-Operate-Transfer law.

Almendras said the project was expected to be completed in three years. “Studies showed that the Philippines loses P2.4 billon a day in potential income because of the productive time spent waiting in traffic,” Almendras said.

“We are excited about this unsolicited proposal, as it would it increase our personal travel efficiency, but through it, more opportunities will open to improve sectors and services that heavily rely on the transport of materials, goods and other items to operate. We are looking forward to a positive reception from the DPWH,” he said.

08 May 2017
By Darwin G. Amojelar