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SMC, Batangas govt’ ink JVA for P44B NBEX project

March 23, 2023 Jojo C. Magsombol 180 views

THE San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is undertaking the P44.77-billion Nasugbu-Bauan Expressway (NBEX) project that will provide a faster connection between the eastern and western portions of Batangas province.

This comes after the Batangas provincial government granted the company’s infrastructure arm, SMC Infrastructure, a 35-year concession to design, build, operate, and maintain the four-lane, 61-kilometer toll road, which SMC President and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Ramon S. Ang described as “a project that will further unlock the economic potential of Batangas.”

The two parties on Wednesday signed the joint venture agreement (JVA) for the project in a ceremony held at the Balayan Government Center, where Ang was also officially named an “adopted son of Batangas.”

“This project will drive a lot of development for our province and for our towns here in the first district. Higit sa lahat, mas marami itong maibibigay na tulong at serbisyo sa ating mga mamamayan. Tunay pong partner in development ang San Miguel hindi lamang po sa Batangas, kundi sa buong Pilipinas,” said Governor Herminilando “Dodo” Mandanas.

For his part, Ang said: “Batangas province has always been very close to my heart. It is home to many of our facilities. It has always been a valuable and reliable partner of San Miguel. As such, it is vital to our efforts to support our national economy and uplift the lives of many Filipinos through regional development.”

He added, “I’m glad that our company will have another opportunity to further strengthen our collaboration with Batangas through the NBEX and ensure that its benefits are shared broadly. We have committed to deliver 70% of the project’s profits to the local government, once operational, to provide vital services for our kababayans in the province. This will be key to furthering the growth of the province and improving lives and livelihood.”

NBEX, Ang said, is a vital infrastructure initiative in Southern Luzon. It will improve travel across towns throughout Batangas, particularly the first district. Once complete, it will make Nasugbu, Balayan, Lemery, Bauan, the City of Calaca, and other municipalities more accessible. Transportation of people and goods will be easier, faster, and more efficient, resulting in a lower cost of business and higher economic activity.

Ang, who gave an overview of the project at the signing of the agreement on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, explained that the 61-km expressway is expected to cut travel time by half between Nasugbu to Bauan, Batangas from 1.5 hours to just 45 minutes.

It will also reduce the usual 5-hour trip to and from Manila to only two hours.

NBEX, which begins at Bgy. Kaylaway, Nasugbu town, runs parallel to Tagaytay-Nasugbu and Palico-Balayan highways. The terminus of NBEX at Barangay Kaylaway connects the expressway to another SMC Infrastructure project, the Cavite-Batangas Expressway (CBEX), which leads to Tagaytay City and Silang, Cavite.

The project has four sections: Section 1 is a 10.78-km segment that stretches from Bgy. Kaylaway to Bgy. Banilad in Nasugbu town; Section 2 is a 13.03-km segment from Bgy. Banilad to Balayan town, Section 3 is a 16.3-km segment from Balayan to Lemery, and Section 4 is a 20.79-km segment from Lemery to Bauan.

In his remarks, Ang expressed optimism the project can be delivered on schedule given the support of the provincial government led by Gov. Mandanas who signed the joint venture agreement.

“NBEX is an exciting opportunity for us to come together once again and work towards our common goal of building a better future for our beloved Batanguenos. We look forward to working with Governor Mandanas and the rest of the province’s leaders and stakeholders to make this a reality,” he said.

And said the target for substantial project completion is at 48 months, including the 12-month development of the detailed engineering design.

NBEX is the latest addition to the growing infrastructure portfolio of SMC, the country’s most diversified conglomerate.

Aside from NBEX, SMC operates the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), the Skyway System that connects Balintawak to Makati through an elevated expressway; the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), and the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway.