Capitol to lead MCE Project completion

Capitol to lead MCE Project completion
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THE Cebu Provincial Government has taken on the responsibility of completing the 56.9-kilometer Metro Cebu Expressways (MCE) project.

The Capitol’s media arm, in a statement it posted on Saturday, April 6, 2024, said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has endorsed the Provincial Government’s offer, made in March 2024, to lead the implementation and completion of the long-delayed MCE project.

The Capitol reported that lawyer Arjay Peralta of the DPWH public-private partnership service office in Manila personally handed over a copy of a letter from DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan to Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.

The letter, addressed to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan and Public-Private Partnership Center (PPPC) Executive Director Ma. Cynthia Hernandez stated DPWH’s full support for Cebu Province’s bid to complete the MCE project, including through a Capitol-led public-private partnership.

The four-segment project, which began in 2018, faced a temporary halt in February 2024 due to a lack of necessary environmental studies and permits after a landslide occurred in the portion of the project area in Barangays Inayagan and Cantao-an, Naga City, in October 2023.

Peralta said that once delisted, the national funding of the project will be reverted to the national treasury, as the Provincial Government will seek investors to implement the project.

Peralta added that the Provincial Government can begin the project implementation whether Neda or PPPC will concur with the DPWH.

To recall, the absence of an environmental compliance certificate, lack of coordination with the local government units, realignment of the route and lack of funding were discussed during a series of meetings between the Capitol, DPWH 7, Environmental Management Bureau 7, the Naga City Government and the captains of the affected barangays in February and March 2024. These prompted the Provincial Government to propose the takeover of the project implementation.

Once completed, the MCE, a 56.9-kilometer highway, will provide alternative routes to the cities of Naga in the south and Danao City in the north. / EHP


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