THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said the planned Quezon-Bicol Expressway (QBEx) will tap various modes of financing, and will not be a purely Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
DPWH Undersecretary for Planning and PPP Maria Catalina E. Cabral told reporters in a chance interview on Friday the ongoing feasibility study for the QBEx will outline the segments of the highway and determine the suitable modes of financing to be implemented for each.
“Not all will be PPP]. Some will not be attractive to the private sector in terms of traffic. So the study will determine which segment will use ODA (official development assistance), or be locally-funded, or PPP,” she said.
Locally-funded projects are those that source their funds from the general appropriations act (GAA).
The DPWH said in February that QBEx was supposed to be auctioned off via PPP by end-2018. But Ms. Cabral said breaking down the funding for QBEx into segments would make it more feasible.
According to initial briefings, the project involves a 180-kilometer stretch of road, but Ms. Cabral said the length now exceeds 200 kilometers based on the feasibility study.
“We’re going to package this and start bidding for some of the segments already categorized as priority in the feasibility study,” she said.
The feasibility study for QBEx, which started in February, is set to be completed by October or November. Ms. Cabral said, and will be forwarded to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for further review.
According to the initial DPWH briefing on QBEx, the expressway will begin at Pagbilao, Quezon and end at the Maharlika Highway in San Fernando, Camarines Sur. The detailed engineering design is set to begin by the fourth quarter of 2019, and the acquisition of the right of way by fourth quarter of 2020. — Denise A. Valdez