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Philippine Resources - February 18, 2021

India Open to Be Part Of Build Build Build Program

India has its eyes set on joining the “Build Build Build” program under the Duterte administration. Top Indian companies such as Adani Infrastructure, GMR Group, Larsen and Toubro Limited, IRCON International Limited, Rail India Technical and Economic Service and Shapoorji Pallonji Infrastructure Capital Company are ready to present their investment capabilities and interests at an online forum this week.Jointly organised by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country’s largest business organization, and the New Delhi-based Chamber of India Industries, the online forum which will be held on February 18, 2020, will be spearheaded by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade. According to the PCCI, projects in the transport sector will highlight the event. Indian ambassador to Manila Shambhu Kumaran and Philippine Ambassador Ramon Bagatsing Jr. will also present opportunities for both countries.The Philippines and India both have a long-standing relationship, which was established in 1949.

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Philippine Resources - February 18, 2021

DPWH and JICA Hold Review Meeting

To discuss activity progress and other action plans under the JICA portfolio, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has conducted a review meeting.In his report to Secretary Mark A. Villar, Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain said that this meeting provided both parties to assess infrastructure projects under the Build Build Build program of the Duterte administration. Meanwhile, Secretary Villar expressed his appreciation to the government of Japan for its assistance to the country - either through loan agreement or grant. In December 2020, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa has assured to continue the robust relationship between the two countries. At the meeting, Undersecretary Sadain presented the overall progress of the 13 Japan-assisted high impact infrastructure projects namely: Arterial (Plaridel) Road Bypass Project Phase 3; Central Luzon Link Expressway; Programme for the Support to Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Marawi City and Its Surrounding Areas; Flood Risk Management Project for Cagayan De Oro River; Flood Risk Management Project for Cagayan River, Tagoloan River and Imus River; Davao City Bypass Construction Project; Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project; Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao; Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project Phase 4; Cavite Industrial Area Flood Management Project; Cebu-Mactan Bridge (4th) and Coastal Road Construction Project; Dalton Pass East Alignment Road Project; and Parañaque Spillway/Tunnel Project. Because of these projects, governments can provide jobs and many opportunities in the Philippines. The portfolio review meeting held at JICA Philippines Office in Makati City was also attended by officers and staff from UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 headed by Project Director Virgilio Castillo, Flood Control Management Cluster headed by Project Director Ramon Ariola, and Bridges Management Cluster headed by Project Director Rodrigo Delos Reyes who are all involved in the management of JICA-assisted projects.

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Philippine Resources - February 18, 2021

Contractors Finish Main Bridge Pylons for Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway

The two main bridge pylons of the 8.5-kilometre Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) are already finished. According to the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway Corp. (CCLEC), “We finished over the weekend the concreting of the pylon on the side of Cebu City.”The firm said that Tower 1 has reached its final height at 145 meters, meaning that the two pylons are already complete. The firm has also started installing the cross on top of the pylons of the CCLEX’s main bridge. Last month, the firm has also finished the construction of Tower 2 on the side of the Cordova town. Senior Research Manager at Colliers Philippines said the 3rd bridge - set to be finished later this year - will further boost the economic growth of the city. Once finished, this bridge will connect Cebu City to Mactan Island through Cordova and will also ease traffic. A subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, CCLEC is undertaking the bridge project under a joint venture agreement with Cebu City and Cordova, a municipality to the south of Mactan.

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Philippine Resources - February 17, 2021

Cavite Invites Firms to bid for Sangley International Airport Project

After cancelling an earlier deal with MacroAsia Corp. and China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the province of Cavite is again inviting firms to bid for the Sangley International airport project. The local government said that the distribution of the project feasibility study - including updates and schedules, draft joint venture and development agreement, instructions to candidate joint venture partners - will be available for distribution for the whole month of March.However, before parties could obtain copies of these bid documents, they must be able to submit an intent letter, sign the nondisclosure agreement, and pay the non-refundable fee of $20,000 (P1 Million).Among the responsibilities of the partners include debt financing, providing the necessary equity investment, credit enhancement, and securing and performing procurement, engineering, and construction services for the land and airport development aspects of the 1,500-hectare project. The deadline for submission of proposal is on May 4, 2021.“Under the terms of the project’s no-objection clearance from the Department of Transportation, no sovereign loan or National Government guarantee will be granted,” it said.Cavite’s Public-Private Partnership Selection Committee Legal Officer Jesse R. Grepo said, “As of now, we haven’t received any formal inquiries yet.” He said that there were some who expressed their intent but haven’t submitted bids yet. “I can’t assume if the same are still interested now,” he added.In 2019, MacroAsia-CCCC tandem submitted a proposal. Other groups that bid documents include Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC); Prime Asset Ventures, Inc.; Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions, Inc.; Langham Properties, Inc.; and Mosveldtt Law Offices.“If still interested, previously registered entities that bought the request for proposals (bid documents) during the first competitive selection process launched in October 2019 would have to submit a new written expression of intent, update their registration details, and pay the renewal fee of P25,000 or $500,” the Cavite provincial government said.Meanwhile, Cavite Governor Juanito Victor “Jonvic” C. Remulla, Jr. said the “various deficiencies in the submission of requirements to conclude the joint venture agreement” led to the cancellation of the deal.

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Philippine Resources - February 15, 2021

SMC Opens Two More Ramps of the Skyway Stage 3

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) recently unveiled to the public two new ramps of the newly-operational 18-kilometre Skyway Stage 3. This is to improve and ease traffic along the major thoroughfares in Metro Manila, providing ease of travel.SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang announced the opening of the A. Bonifacio northbound off-ramp and the E. Rodriguez southbound off-ramp. “Our Skyway 3 engineers and construction personnel worked double time to be able to open these two new ramps, better serve motorists, and provide them seamless and convenient travel,” Ang said. “With the opening of these ramps, those who are coming from Alabang, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Pasay, or Makati will no longer have to take Edsa and get stuck in several traffic chokepoints in order to get to Balintawak. Meanwhile, those coming from NLEX headed to Quezon City, on the other hand, can opt to take Skyway 3 to get to E. Rodriguez Avenue.”Ang said that contractors are continuously working to open other access ramps. This has been delayed because of issues with the right-of-way. “Despite delays, we’re excited for the next access points to be opened soon,” he said. According to him, the next to open are the following: Quirino Entry, the Nagtahan Entry, Nagtahan Exit, E. Rodriguez Entry, and C3 Exit; and for southbound, the C3 Entry, C3 Exit, A. Bonifacio Entry, Plaza Dilao Exit, and Nagtahan Exit.“Once all of these access points are opened, traffic in many parts of Metro Manila, especially major thoroughfares, will be virtually a thing of the past. People will be able to get from one place to another within the city much faster and easier, without the stress. And because of this, our main thoroughfares and city streets will also be decongested, making travel for those not using the expressway better as well,” he added.Ang highlighted the significance of easing traffic for the people in light of this pandemic. He said, “For us in San Miguel, now is really the time to double-up our efforts and continue all our major investments to help alleviate the country’s congestion problems, to keep people working, and, in completing these infrastructure projects, prepare our country for economic recovery and further growth.”Skyway Stage 3, which opened last January 14, is expected to ease traffic along EDSA because it can bypass this major highway and commuters can now enjoy travel time from Buendia in Makati to Balintawak in just 20 minutes, and Balintawak to Alabang in just 30 minutes. Among the newly-opened ramps include Northbound-Buendia (Zobel) Entry, Quezon Avenue Entry, Quirino Avenue Exit, Quezon Avenue Exit, A. Bonifacio Exit and Balintawak Exit; and Southbound -- Balintawak Entry, Quezon Avenue Entry, Plaza Dilao Entry, Quezon Avenue Exit, E. Rodriguez Exit, and Buendia (Zobel) Exit.

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Philippine Resources - February 10, 2021

DPWH and ADB Sign Agreement on Loan Application for Three Bridges in Marikina City

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) for the loan application of the construction of three bridges in Marikina City. Estimated to cost more than P9 billion in total, two of the bridges will be located in Marikina City: the J.P. Rizal–Lopez Jaena Bridge and the Marcos Highway–St. Mary Bridge (formerly J.P. Rizal–St. Mary Bridge). Meanwhile, the third will link Marikina City with Quezon City: Kabayani–Katipunan Avenue Extension Bridge (Marikina–Vista Real Bridge. With a length of 687 metres with a 460-metre main bridge, the J.P. Rizal–Lopez Jaena Bridge will cost P1.61 billion. While the Marcos Highway–St. Mary Bridge spanning 1,477 metres with a 330-metre main bridge will cost P5,74 billion, the Kabayani–Katipunan Avenue Extension Bridge will be priced at P1.81 billion. The latter has a total length of 940 metres with a 485-metre main bridge. According to the DPWH, the Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Bridge Management Cluster and consulting firm Dasan JV are now working on the engineering designs of these bridges. DPWH also remarked that the local government units are fully supportive of these initiatives.

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Philippine Resources - February 10, 2021

Subway Service for Passengers Will Begin 2025

The service for passengers of the Metro Manila Subway will begin by 2025.According to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the base fare may start at P22 with an additional P2 per kilometre depending on the distance. Transportation Undersecretary Timothy Batan said that some facilities of the subway may operate by the end of the year. "We will have some of our key facilities operational by the end of 2021. So, that's going to include East Valenzuela station, the Philippine Railways Institute, the depot for the subway," he said. "So, that's what we will be seeing by the end of the year but full operations and regular passenger service will begin by 2025."As for the base fare, Batan said, “That's the fare that we projected, and based on our earlier study, this is going to be sufficient to cover operating cost.”Batan also dispelled concerns that the construction of the project - priced at P350 billion - would cause more traffic. "One of the advantages here is aside from being faster than your usual reconditional methods, it will have less interference in the traffic above ground," he said, talking about the tunnel boring machine. "It's going to adapt Japanese technology because that's one of the conditions in our loan agreement with Japan. So, our designers, general consultants [and] contractors are all going to be Japanese for the subway," he added.Last week, the DOTr unveiled a part of the tunnel boring machine.The Metro Manila subway project is the first of its kind. This runs from Valenzuela City to Bicutan, Paranaque and the NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City.

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Philippine Resources - February 09, 2021

DOTr Reveals Infrastructure Projects

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has revealed its runway construction projects that could help provide better mass transportation. The DOTr said, “We acknowledge this demand by the public, and it is in fulfilling this desire that the DOTr has been implementing projects geared towards providing commuters with access to faster, reliable, safe, and efficient means of mass transportation.”These projects are the following: the Metro Manila Subway, the Light Rail Transit 1 Extension; the Light Rail Transit Line 2 East Extension; the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 1; the Common Station expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2021; the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7); and the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) rehabilitation.“We have also pushed for the acquisition of new train sets for the MRT-3, LRT-1, and PNR lines to increase their respective capacities, among others,” the DOTr said.Light rail vehicles have already arrived for the LRT-1 Cavite Extension. “Through these, the DOTr is putting in place mass public transportation as the principal means for mobility to reduce dependence on private vehicles,” the DOTr said.For its Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program (PUVMP), DOTr said, “We are gearing towards a public transport that has clean energy-powered public buses, particularly high-capacity electric-powered vehicles, to move people while using fewer vehicles.”Aside from transportation projects, other projects include infrastructure projects designed for walking and cycling such as the expansion of bicycle lanes in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao. “Around 29 kilometres of bike lanes were already established to date. Before the year ends, we intend to add 140 kilometres of bike lanes to the country’s expanding bike lane network,” the DOTr said.Among these projects include the EDSA Greenways Project. “It aims to serve 1.1 million pedestrians daily in 2023 and 1.2 million/day in 2051. Target partial operations of the project are by December 2021 and full operations by February 2023,” the DOTr said.Outside Metro Manila, there are the segments of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (Cebu BRT) , and the Davao Public Transportation Modernization Project. “The Cebu BRT’s Package 1, which covers the 2.6-kilometre busway, with four (4) stations, urban realm enhancement, and vital intersection improvements, is already at the procurement stage,” the DOTr said. “We are likewise targeting its partial operations this year as the parcellary works are currently ongoing following the awarding of its contract.”

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Philippine Resources - February 09, 2021

Bridge Linking Intramuros and Binondo To Be Finished Within 2021

The construction of a bridge that links Intramuros and Binondo is expected to be finished within 2021. According to the Chinese Embassy in Manila, "The main bridge of the project is so far 90 per cent completed and is expected to open within this year. By then, it will serve over 30,000 vehicles per day and substantially relieve the traffic congestion along the river.”For Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, the bridge serves as an iconic landmark. “By September 2021, this attractive design of the arch bridge that symbolizes the friendly cooperation between China and the Philippines will become a new iconic landscape connecting the Binondo and Intramuros districts of Manila,” he said.With a total cost of P3.39 billion, the Chinese-funded bridge has put in many advanced construction methods and involves the construction of a four-lane, basket-handled tied steel arch bridge. The bridge will have a total length of 680 lineal metres, designed with the new seismic specifications and takes into consideration the effects of climate change. Meanwhile, the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge that links Mandaluyong City and Makati City is now 79% complete and is expected to open in the first half of 2021.According to Citing Huang, the projects between Manila and Beijing have entered into a new phase of implementation. "With the joint efforts of both sides, 11 projects have been completed and 12 projects are being implemented or are about to be implemented," it said.

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Philippine Resources - February 03, 2021

Infrastructure Projects Hope to Boost Manufacturing Sector

The infrastructure program of the government in 2021 hopes to partly boost the manufacturing sector in the Philippines, as well as look at the concerns in economic activities and domestic growth. According to Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort, this program with around P1 trillion annually from 2016-2022, hopes to support the expansion of the Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) to 52.5.He said that in spite of the pandemic, PMI last December was the highest as compared to December 2018. “(This is) a leading indicator that could suggest a further pick-up in business/economic activities even after the Christmas season in December 2020,” he added. “For the coming months of 2021, increased infrastructure spending, as part of the priorities of the economic recovery program, would benefit contractors and manufacturing industries that are part of the supply chain/value chain. The government’s infrastructure spending is also expected to boost economic activities, especially in rural areas, “given (the) high multiplier effects on real estate/property and in many other related/allied industries,” he said. This growth will also impact the eventual availability of COVID vaccines, the re-opening of the domestic economy, and the impact of monetary easing.

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Philippine Resources - February 03, 2021

Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge 78% Complete

The construction of the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge is nearing completion, just in time for its opening this year.According to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar, the bridge Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong City and Estrella Street in Makati City is already 78.5 per cent complete. He said that once the bridge is completed, it will not only ease the traffic but is able to accommodate around 50,000 vehicles a day. This bridge along with the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge project is one of the two bridges from the People’s Republic of China.

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Philippine Resources - February 01, 2021

Infrastructure Spending Down In 2020

Spending on infrastructure went down in 2020.According to the data provided by Budget Assistant Secretary Rolando U. Toledo, infrastructure expenses were at P681-billion, 22.7% lower as compared with the previous year.State spending on these projects reached P276.1 billion and that infrastructure spending surpassed P225.5 billion. Toledo said that data included the total spending of the government on infrastructure, including the infrastructure components of transfers to local government units and subsidies or equities to government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs).The realignment of funds last year because of the pandemic caused the government to slash the infrastructure funds. For this year, the budget is expected to reach P1.2 trillion or equal to 5.9% of GDP. “With a multiplier of 2.27, meaning every peso spent creates another P1.27, some 1.7 million jobs can be created to accelerate the recovery. Timely implementation of infrastructure projects will have the biggest impact on our recovery prospects,” said Chua.Emilio S. Neri, Jr., the lead economist at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), said that the underspending of the government may pose a downside risk to the 2021 rebound. “With businesses still struggling, the lack of fiscal support and public construction may stall the recovery and dampen the demand for capital goods,” Neri said.Oxford Economics said that quarantine restrictions should then be relaxed to allow infrastructure projects to continue.

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Philippine Resources - January 29, 2021

Cavite Govt Cancels Sangley Airport Project

The Cavite Government has cancelled the award given to China Communications Construction Co. (CCCC) and Philippine company MacroAsia Corp. for the $10-billion airport deal in Sangley Point. MacroAsia said, “The notice of selection and award for the Sangley Point International Airport Project issued on 12 February 2020 was cancelled.”According to Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, the decision didn’t involve the US sanctioning of CCC and other Chinese firms. The US had blacklisted several Chinese companies who had built military installations in the areas of the South China Sea. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, “We hope the Philippines can provide a conducive business environment for Chinese companies.”On another note, the so-called NAIA consortium could take a shot at the Sangley airport. “We will consult with the other members of the consortium... the original NAIA consortium,” AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. president and CEO Jose Rene Almendras said.Meanwhile, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said, “We don’t know enough about the project – the little we know we’ve gleaned from media accounts. But it looks interesting – not least because the airport connects to our southern tollways.”Aboitiz InfraCapital president and CEO Cosette Canilao said, “We have always believed that airports will be key to reviving the economy, and we remain open to looking at opportunities in the sector.”“We can’t say at this point. We’ll have to assess the terms first. But right now, we’ll focus on other existing projects,” Megawide chief business development officer Jim Feliciano added.

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Philippine Resources - January 29, 2021

SMC Completes Skyway Stage 3: A Boost to Economic Recovery

In spite of the pandemic, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) were able to build Skyway Stage 3, one of the biggest road networks that connect North and South Luzon, easing traffic in Metro Manila. This not only elevated goods and services during the crisis but gave hope to millions of Filipinos under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte and SMC President Ramon Ang. On Jan 14, 2021, Duterte and his team formally opened the new skyway to traffic. “Because of the strong leadership of President Duterte, and with the help of his hands-on cabinet secretaries and economic team, we were able to finally resolve right-of-way issues and complete Skyway 3,” Ang said. “This is a game-changer for our economy, especially now that we are still dealing with the pandemic. By providing seamless access between the north and south, we also unlock the true potential of our provinces.”Since its soft launch last Dec 29, 2020, some 71,000 cars and vehicles have already traversed the highway. “At full capacity, with seven lanes available, Skyway can easily handle 50 per cent of Edsa traffic or 200,000 vehicles per day. Together with the existing Skyway 1 and 2, the Skyway system now has 38 kilometres of elevated expressway with 36 on- and off-ramp access points. This will greatly contribute to decongesting Metro Manila traffic,” Ang said.Meanwhile, Ang said that the construction of the Manila International Airport project in the province of Bulacan is already in full swing. With four-parallel runways and modern facilities, the project is set to connect major highways in Metro Manila.Ang tagged the project as completed in 2025. Two major expressways are also set to open in 2023.

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Philippine Resources - January 29, 2021

An Overview of the Luzon Spine Expressway Network

The road network in the Luzon area is well underway. Known as the Luzon Spine Expressway Network, the network would soon be stretched from 382 kilometres to 905 kilometres of expressways. Not only will traffic be decongested (especially in Metro Manila), but travel time will be cut in half. For instance, instead of the usual travel time of 20 hours from Ilocos to Bicol, travel time will now be reduced to only 9 hours. According to Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, the continuous build-up of cars on the road causes massive problems. He said, “Based on the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) study, the Philippines losses P3.5 billion a day due to traffic congestion in Metro Manila. “The government will continue to implement the master plan on highway network development to address traffic congestions along with vital road networks in the country particularly in highly urbanized areas.”He added, “The High Standard Highway (HSH) Network Development Masterplan will be updated by expanding the coverage from the sphere of 200 kilometres to 300-kilometre radius around Metro Manila. Expanding the expressway network will hasten the economic development of regional cities to avoid over-concentration of socio-economic activities in Metro Manila and eventually diminish the economic disparities across the country.”Among the 23 expressways part of the Spine Network, only seven have been completed so far, which is around 109 kilometres of road. These are the 5.58-kilometre NLEX Harbor Link’s Segment 10 and 2.60-kilometer C3-R10 Section completed and delivered in 2019 and 2020 which connects the C-3 and McArthur Highway; the 14.85-kilometre NAIA Expressway, Phase II completed in 2017; the 27.31-kilometre Urdaneta City -Rosario, La Union Section of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway completed; the 9.96-kilometre Arterial (Plaridel) By-Pass Road, Phase II completed in 2018. Some of these roads that are being constructed right now are the 18.83 kilometres Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 which connects the South Luzon Expressway to the North Luzon Expressway and expected to open in December 2021; the 8.35-kilometre NLEX Harbor Link, Segment 8.2 which is projected to start in 2021 to 2024, expected to reduce travel time from Mindanao Avenue to Commonwealth Avenue from 45 minutes to 10 minutes; the widening of the 24.61 km bypass road from two lanes to four lanes which include 10 bridges (1,439.72 l.m.), slope stabilization works, and drainage facilities. Other projects include the 30-kilometre Central Luzon Link Expressway, CLLEx which is already 90% complete and runs from Cabanatuan to Tarlac; the four-kilometre Alabang-Sucat Skyway Connection and Ramp Extension Project which is already 47% completed; the 8-kilometre NLEX-SLEX Connector Road which is already 11% completed; the 7.7-kilometre Manila Cavite Toll Expressway Project, C-5 South Link Expressway which is expected to be completed in 2022; the 32.66-kilometre Southeast Metro Manila Expressway, C-6 (Phase I) which is at 12% progress. Also, projects that are well underway include the Cavite-Laguna Expressway; the South Luzon Expressway-Toll Road 4 Project; the Camarines Sur Expressway.There are also projects which are waiting for approval or under a feasibility study. These are the 59.4-kilometre TPLEX Extension from Rosario to San Juan, La Union; the 127-kilometre North Eastern Luzon Expressway; the proposed 19-kilometre North Luzon East Expressway, NLEE (La Mesa Parkways Project) costing P7.8 billion; the C3 Missing Link Project; the 50.43-kilometre Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway (CTBEX); the Quezon-Bicol Expressway.Villar added, “A masterplan study on proposed tunnel projects will be developed to address constraints on connectivity due to the geographic profile of the country.”Stressing that the Philippines will be very different in 2022, he said, “That I can guarantee and if you can look at the pipeline that we have that’s evidence that definitely there’ll be a different country than what we came in.”

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