THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said it will start constructing the “coastal” spur road to Cavite province’s Sangley Airport by the second quarter of the year.

“The project will start by the second quarter. Actually nakabudget ito sa 2020 (it is part of the 2020 national budget),” Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar told reporters recently.

He said the spur road project, which will cost about P200 to P250 million, will be built “along the coast leading to connect to Sangley.”

Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) announced in November that it submitted its own technical proposal to the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) to build a five-kilometer spur road from Cavite Expressway (CavitEx) to Sangley, Cavite.

In August, Roberto V. Bontia, president of Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. (CIC), said a joint proposal on the construction of the Sangley spur road with the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) was in the works for submission to the TRB.

The government inaugurated its P486-million Sangley Airport development project last month.

The airport will be expanded by Lucio C. Tan’s MacroAsia Corp. and its Chinese partner China Communications Construction Co. Ltd.

The consortium will have to buy Sangley Airport from the Transportation department before it can start working on the first phase of the project.

The first phase of the project, which costs $4 billion, includes the construction of the Sangley connector road and bridge to connect the Kawit segment of the Manila-Cavite CAVITEx to the international airport.

Phase 1 also involves the construction of the airport’s first runway, bringing capacity to 25 million passengers yearly, helping to decongest Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City.

The Cavite provincial government has set a target for full operations by 2023, with partial operations a year earlier. A fourth runway will be opened after six years.

The same consortium will work on the other two phases of the project, with the possibility of contract renegotiations.

The second phase, which will cost about $6 billion, involves the construction of two more runways bringing annual capacity to 75 million passengers.

The last phase is the expansion to four runways, which will boost capacity to 130 million passengers.

The Cavite government said the completion of the Sangley Point International Airport will pave the way for the phasing out of NAIA, which can be redeveloped. — Arjay L. Balinbin