Laguna gov’t to build Calamba-Bay road
SAN PEDRO, Laguna—The Laguna provincial government has decided to undertake on its own a 22-kilometer bypass road between Calamba and Bay town, even as it hoped to get the “blessing” of the national government ahead of a similar road construction project being proposed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Governor Jeorge “ER” Ejercito said several private firms have expressed interest in partnering with the provincial government for the bypass road project under the “Swiss challenge” scheme.
“Swiss challenge,” according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), refers to an unsolicited bid for a project in which a proponent presents a project to the government and negotiates its terms and conditions. The proposal is then subjected to another bidding process whereby a new bidder/s is asked to challenge the bid or submit its own comparative proposal. The original proponent has the option to match the challenger’s bid and the more superior proposal/bid is declared the winner.
Ejercito said the provincial government would start the bidding process in the hope that the construction could begin by the second or third quarter of 2012.
The 22-km bypass road will be constructed along Laguna Lake’s shore, connecting the industrial estate of Canlubang in Calamba City to the towns of Los Baños and Bay.
Ejercito said the bypass road will provide an alternate route to motorists thus easing the congested national roads in Calamba City and Los Baños town.
“There will also be income for the provincial government when it starts collecting the toll,” he said.
Ejercito said the construction cost for the bypass road would be about P5 billion.
Ejercito was pushing this project even if DPWH has proposed an almost similar project, the Calamba-Los Baños Expressway.
The governor, however, pointed out that the DPWH proposed road project would still be four years away, or in 2016, while the bypass road has to start now, “given the worsening traffic on the national road.”
The Calamba-Los Baños Toll Expressway would be a 15.5-km and four-lane highway that also serves as a flood-control dike along the lake, according to a letter sent by DPWH to Kilusang Lawa-Kalikasan (KLK), a watchdog group of all government programs concerning Laguna de Bay. It will branch off from the South Luzon Expressway in Calamba City, pass through the coastal areas of Los Baños and end in Bay.
The Calamba-Los Baños Toll Expressway has an estimated project cost of P5.90 billion. The proposal was submitted to NEDA in November 2011, with the project implementation scheduled from 2014 to 2016 under a public-private partnership scheme.
Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, in a letter to KLK last December, said the consultancy for a business case study on the Calamba-Los Baños Toll Expressway, as well as for the C6 Extension (Laguna de Bay Flood Control Dike Expressway) project of the DPWH, was awarded to the J.F. Cancio and Associates and Proconsult Engineers Co. The case study would be completed by June 2012.
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