By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

THE operator of the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) aims to submit in the coming month a proposal that will connect the toll road to the Danilo Atienza (Sangley) Air Base.

Roberto V. Bontia, president of Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. (CIC), told BusinessWorld on Monday a joint proposal with the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) is in the works for submission to the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) by end August or early September.

“We are working together with PRA to submit a joint proposal of our alternative Segment 5 (which includes the Sangley spur) to TRB,” he said in a text message.

PRA is CIC’s joint venture partner in operating CAVITEx. Part of its concession is the construction of a CAVITEx Segment 5, which was originally an extension of the toll road from Kawit to Noveleta.

However, the Department of Public Works and Highways built a road on the supposed alignment of Segment 5 in 2015, pushing the operators to look for an alternative to it.

Mr. Bontia said earlier that CIC was looking at a 22-kilometer, three-part alignment for Segment 5. It will connect Kawit to Noveleta, Kawit to Sangley and Noveleta to Rosario, with a spur road to the Cavite Export Processing Zone.

The whole Segment 5 has an estimated cost of P21-22 billion, of which the link to Sangley is priced at approximately P10 billion.

Mr. Bontia said the government’s push for increased air activity at the Sangley air base is a motivator for the company in paving a road link to the gateway.

“Right now kasi wala talagang maayos na [there’s no decent] road network that will connect Sangley to any major road in Cavite. So that makes the road viable with the upgrade of Sangley,” he told reporters last month.

The government aims to open the Sangley air base for general aviation flights by the end of the year. It is aimed to improve operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which is operating beyond its capacity.

CIC is under Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., others being PLDT, Inc. and Philex Mining Corp.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.