MANILA, Philippines – Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), a unit of infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), has set a P3-billion capital expenditure program for its road construction projects this year.
MPTC president and CEO Ramoncito Fernandez, in an interview with The STAR on the sidelines of the 6th NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) Tara Na sa Norte Tourism and Travel Fair, said a big chunk of the budget, or P1.7 billion, would go to the Segment 9 project which involves a 2.4-kilometer stretch from Valenzuela City to MacArthur Highway. The project is expected to be completed by the middle of next year.
Fernandez said these expansion projects would promote tourism, particularly in the northern part of Luzon where most of their facilities are located.
MPTC unit Manila North Tollway Corp. (MNTC) operates the 84-kilometer NLEX and was recently awarded by the state-run Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) the right to operate and maintain the 94-kilometer Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTex) for 33 years.
“Our educated guess is that tourism has been playing a good part in the traffic increase in NLEX through the years,” he said.
For the first half, traffic volume at NLEX rose five percent to an average 172,000 vehicles daily compared to the same period in 2012. The five percent growth is expected to be sustained by the end of the year.
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Fernandez said this is significantly higher or double the historical growth of two to four percent over the past years.
The travel fair, held on July 12 to 14, focused on the four regions of North Philippines – Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Ilocos and Central Luzon – which among themselves hold some of the country’s most diverse cultural treasures and traditions.