DPWH, MPT South resumes work in major projects CAVITEX, C5 Link and CALAX
Parañaque City, Metro Manila – Metro Pacific Tollways South Management Corporation (MPT South) has resumed its office-based work and construction-related activities, for its big-ticket projects namely, Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX) and Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX).
This is following the released Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Department Order No. 35 (and its Department Order No. 39, repealing DO No. 35), Series of 2020 or the “Construction Safety Guidelines for the Implementation of all DPWH Infrastructure Projects during the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis” as approved by the Interagency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“With the relaxing of the Community Quarantine, we need to get the projects back on track, most especially the BBB projects which aims to spur and sustain economic growth by constructing infrastructure projects badly needed by the country. The guidelines set is to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in the projects. Strict compliance is expected.” Said DPWH Secretary Mark Villar.\
The construction of major infrastructure projects was suspended when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country causing the adjustments for construction protocols.
“The guidelines of DPWH are specific to help stem the disease. The contractors must follow new protocols at the jobsite which changes the preparation and mobilization time of the projects, these adjustments have an effect on the timeline. We also give great consideration on the renewed focus by the government on BBB projects; we want to accelerate completion of projects – subject to DPWH and the Department of Health guidelines,” said MPT South President and General Manager Roberto V. Bontia.
MPT South has resumed the road widening construction for CAVITEX R-1 second phase of bridge works in Parañaque, Las Piñas and Wawa and now at 55% completion. Construction Personnel and allied services had remobilized for the resumption of works in CALAX Subsections 4 and 5, and Cavite Segment. ROW acquisitions for Cavite Segment and Subsection 4 are still ongoing. Subsection 5, the continuation from Santa Rosa to Silang is at 96% ROW acquisition with siteworks at 57%, significantly.
Meanwhile, CAVITEX C5 Link Segment 3A2 and Segment 2 ROW acquisitions are at 81% progress. A letter of award has been issued to the qualified bidder while details of project execution are currently in the works.
Preparing for the ‘new normal’
Around 1,600 employees went through the COVID-19 Rapid Anti-Body Diagnostic Testing. The large-scale testing for employees and construction personnel is part of the transition plans of the company as it prepares for the “new normal.” Though not required by the government, MPTS wants to assure that the employees reporting for work will be in good health condition to make their customers, stakeholders and even their families feel safe and secure in this time of pandemic.
Bontia said that this move is a reaffirmation of the company’s commitment to the employees’ welfare and safety. “These actions are critical to ensure we all remain safe in our different workspaces. We will continue to monitor developments related to the crisis which could entail corresponding adjustments to our safety protocols over time,” he said.
Gradual return of workforce will start upon receiving the results of the tests. Also, daily health monitoring protocols, provision of basic personal protective equipment (PPEs), sanitation and disinfection of office spaces, and health and safety guidelines will be observed as part of the preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19.
“We continue as an organization to demonstrate patience, the spirit of collaboration and malasakit – these are elements which will indeed see us through the challenges of this health emergency situation,” Bontia added.
At the start of the Enhanced Community Quarantine CAVITEX, C5 Link and CALAX remained open 24/7 to facilitate the unhampered flow of goods and services. The use of RFIDs on expressways has been promoted massively to strengthen social distancing protocols to combat COVID-19.
MPT South is a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, the toll road arm of MPIC that holds the concessions for Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX), C5 Link Expressway, Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), the NLEX Connector Road, the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) in Cebu for its domestic portfolio.