Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar commended the DPWH Task Force responsible in speeding up the road right-of-way (RROW) acquisition for the soon-to-be-opened Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project.
“We are now on the final stage of the Skyway Stage 3 Project that will link the southern and northern portions of Metro Manila by connecting SLEX and NLEX before the end of 2020. This would not be possible if not for the commitment of our DPWH ROW Task Force who have worked relentlessly with concessionaire CITRA Central Expressway Corporation (CCEC) to speed up delivery of needed ROW”, said Secretary Villar.
According to Secretary Villar, ROW acquisition is the most common cause of project delay, especially under Public-Private Partnership, hence the formation of a ROW Task Force for each flagship program and decentralization of ROW operations was established under Department Order No. 65, series of 2017.
Prior to Secretary Villar’s issuance of DO 65, ROW acquisition for the Skyway Stage 3 was sluggish at 8.64 percent, even though it had been 35 months since it commenced in 2015.
With our improved system, the acquaired ROW soared to 95 percent in only 31 months,” said Secretary Villar.
The DPWH Chief is instrumental in facilitating the ROW acquisition, particularly on the issue of National Grid Corporation (NGCP) and MERALCO on the removal and relocation of their respective facilities.
As of September 2020, forty (40) out of the scheduled forty-seven (47) service utilities of NGCP had been completely removed/relocated, five (5) on-going and two (2) for expropriation; while for MERALCO utilities, 1,090 out of the 1,312 affected were completely removed/relocated, twenty-four (24) on-going and 198 not to be relocated anymore. Also, 95.0% site possession had been delivered.
At the initiative of Secretary Villar, a fifth segment had been introduced at the north end of the project from Balintawak Cloverleaf at Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) to connect to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Footbridge, to avoid traffic congestion along A. Bonifacio Street and EDSA.
“We recognize the need to speed-up ROW acquisition for the timely realization of our Build, Build, Build Program and with our formed ROW Task Forces, the public can expect more big-ticket projects to be completed in the coming months and years,” said Secretary Villar.