Varying levels of quarantine restrictions imposed since March of last year to contain the spread of COVID-19 have drastically reduced traffic along the country’s main expressways.
This has undeniably affected the bottom line of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp, the toll operations arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPTC) that operates a network of toll roads here and in parts of Southeast Asia.
But that does not mean MPTC is slowing down on its multibillion-peso projects to further beef up the country’s toll network. On the contrary, it is stepping up the pace.
Just last week, one of the units of MPTC announced that the 7.2-kilometer segment of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway, which will link Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Interchange to the Silang East Interchange, is 93-percent complete and should be ready to accept traffic by the third quarter of the year.
It is part of the 45-kilometer CALAX expressway running from Kawit, Cavite to Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.
Earier this year, MPTC unit NLEx Corp. said it was accelerating the construction of the first five-kilometer section of the NLEx Connector from Caloocan Interchange C3 to España in Manila, with completion expected by the end of the year.
And even more crucial infrastructure projects are coming out of its project pipeline.
MPTC is indeed optimistic that with the success of the country’s vaccination program, controls will eventually be loosened to allow more robust travel across the country, particularly in Luzon, where its operations are concentrated, thus justifying its continued expansion.
In the meantime, MPTC invites locked-down Filipinos to whet their travel appetite by checking out the sites to visit on the Biyaheng South and NLEx Travel social media pages.
Biyaheng South and NLEx Travel will take netizens to places and sites to look forward to visiting in the north and south. These pages feature local businesses and undiscovered wonders. That way, interest in travel is kept alive.
Virtual travel will have to do for now but MPTC is ready to welcome tourists and travelers once it is safe again to do so.