Traveling between Northern and Southern Luzon will be made easier in the future after the Department of Finance (DOF) recently gave the NLEX-SLEX road connector project the greenlight. With the approval, the DOF allowed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to award the PhP 23.2-billion elevated road project.
According to DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez, the delay in the approval was caused by an opinion issued by the government agency under the previous administration. Back then, the DOF required the public-private-partnership (PPP) project to be handled by a special purpose company. This was given attention after Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC) noticed the delay in awarding the project to its subsidiary, Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTD)
Now however there is no need for such a company, though Dominguez did say that giving the upcoming road project to a special purpose company would be more beneficial for the government.
“If anything goes wrong, it can be very easy to identify the assests involved,” said Dominguez.
In review, the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road will be a 13km elevated expressway with four lanes. The road project will begin from C3 Road in Caloocan and will pass through Espana Boulevard in Manila. It will then go towards Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) and connect with Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3.
When finished, the road link is expected to cut travel time between NLEX and SLEX up to 20 minutes. Beyond that, the government also expects to decongest Metro Manila traffic, specifically along C5 and EDSA.