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Phase 1 of C5 South Link on track to open in March

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THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and private concessionaire Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. (CIC) inspect the C5 South Link construction on Wednesday, led by DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar (third from right) and CIC President and CEO Luigi L. Bautista (rightmost). — DPWH

THE government expects phase 1 of the C5 South Link Expressway to open by March, three months ahead of the June 2019 schedule.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar said on Wednesday the construction of the project is on track, while acquisition of right of way is still ongoing.

Ang target natin is by the first quarter of next year, magiging operational na ‘yung link between C5 and ‘yung tawid ng SLEx [Our target is to have the link between C5 and the road crossing South Luzon Expressway operational by the first quarter of next year],” he told reporters after the inspection of the road construction on Wednesday.

For the first phase, the government’s private concessionaire Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. (CIC) of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) said 74.54% of right of way has already been acquired. Seven structures owned by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and five structures of the Philippine National Police are still being processed.

Na-resolve ‘yung [We resolved the] right of way at MIAA. So we’re able to access that. Syempre ‘yung mga ganitong projects kasi [Of course in projects like these] you just have to push the contractor… So contractually they have to finish in June, pero sabi namin agahan natin [but we told them to finish earlier],” CIC President Luigi L. Bautista told reporters.

The P10-billion C5 South Link is a 7.7-kilometer toll road linking Circumferential Road 5 (C5) to the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx), aimed at halving travel time to Taguig from Parañaque, Las Piñas and Cavite to around 30 minutes.

The first phase covers the first 2.2 kilometers from the C5 road to Merville, the second phase from Merville to Sucat, and the last phase from Sucat to R1 Expressway.

Mr. Villar said the whole alignment is targeted to be completed by 2020.

“We’ll open another phase by 2019, then we’ll open another phase by 2020…. Pero at least, as early as next year, first quarter, mapapakinabangan na itong C5 link [But at least, as early as first quarter of next year, we will get to utilize the C5 link],” Mr. Villar said.

MPTC is the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC). MPIC 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 an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Denise A. Valdez