THE MANILA TIMES ROUNDTABLE

North Luzon East Expressway project revived

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The North Luzon East Expressway (NLEEx), a project shelved by the previous administration, has been revived by the Duterte administration and is awaiting only two documents before the start of construction, the project proponent said.

Ausphil Tollways Corp. CEO Ricardo Penson PHOTO BY ROGER RANADA

The proposed tollway, which will connect Quezon City to Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija, was awarded to Ausphil Tollways Corp. during the Arroyo administration but sidelined by the succeeding Aquino administration because of political motives, said the company’s chief executive officer, Ricardo Penson, in a roundtable discussion with The Manila Times on Monday.

“We should have executed the concession agreements with the government, [but]there was a change in government, and I was tagged as opposition to the new government, so nothing happened,” Penson said.

The 21-kilometer first stage of NLEEx would have eased traffic at Commonwealth Avenue as it would have given about 69,000 vehicles per day an alternate route.


In addition, the hydropower component of the tollway project would have supplied power to the cement factories nearby and reduced the cost of cement by 30 percent, Penson said.

Ausphil, which has the backing of San Miguel Corp., is awaiting two documents: the tripartite memorandum of agreement and the toll concession agreement, Penson said.

It will be the first tollway project outside of the franchise of the government-owned Philippine National Construction Corp., he said.

Should construction start soon, the first phase of the project will be completed within the Duterte administration.

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