THE Transportation department on Tuesday said the joint venture of the Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) and San Miguel Holdings Corp. (SMHC) is in talks with the government for the construction of the South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 5 and the Pasig River Expressway.

“In a TRB (Toll Regulatory Board) resolution dated 29 June 2020, the two road projects were declared as toll roads upon the request of, and based on the proposal submitted by the joint venture of PNCC and SMHC,” the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said in a statement.

It said the PNCC-SMHC joint venture is in discussions with officials from the technical working group of the TRB, composed of DoTr,  Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Finance, National Economic and Development Authority, and representatives from the private sector.

The four-lane South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 5 will start from Barangay Mayao, Lucena City in Quezon, and end in Matnog, Sorsogon, near the Matnog Ferry Terminal.

The 420-kilometer toll road has eight segments, namely: Lucena to Gumaca, Gumaca to Tagkawayan, Tagkawayan to Sipocot, Sipocot to Naga City, Naga City to Polangui, Polangui to Legazpi City, Legazpi City to Sorsogon, and Sorsogon to Matnog.

The Transportation department said the first segment alone will cost about P22.6 billion and will take 24 months to complete.

The six-lane Pasig River Expressway will connect Manila to Rizal province.

The 19.37-kilometer elevated expressway will start from Radial Road 10 (R10) in Manila and end at a connection to the South East Metro Manila Expressway at Circumferential Road 6 (C6), the Transportation department said.

The P95.41-billion project has three segments, namely: R10 to Plaza Azul, Plaza Azul to San Juan River, San Juan River to C5 Intersection, and C5 Intersection to C6 Intersection.

The project has an estimated implementation period of 36 months.

“Construction of the two projects is being eyed to start within the remaining two years of the Duterte administration,” TRB Executive Director Abraham P. Sales was quoted as saying. — Arjay L. Balinbin