Icon to define Philippine city in 2020
Imagine one looking out from the window of a plane approaching the Mactan-Cebu International Airport one evening in 2020. One sees seemingly standing above the sea below a welcoming beam of light forming a giant cross. Nearby on the sea surface radiates a colossal light ring. Wow!
At daytime, one marvels at the sight of artistically designed ramps towards the vast South Road Properties (SRP), some 300 hectares of prime real estate in Cebu City.
If not now, you would soon agree. The Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway or CCLEX would become an iconic landmark that defines Cebu City.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the groundbreaking last March 2, 2017 of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) that spans the third 8.25 kilometer bridge linking Mactan Island to mainland Cebu.
With construction costs estimated at PHP 27 billion, CCLEX will soon be the third bridge linking Cebu mainland and Mactan Island but the first that would connect the town of Cordova and Cebu City. Today, Cordova and Cebu City today is some 20.5 kilometers apart. By the time CCLEX will be finished by 2020, it brings down the distance to only 8.25 kilometers – the longest so far in the Philippines, which is an archipelago of over 7,000 islands.
The project seeks to ease the traffic in Metro Cebu especially around the two existing bridges— Marcelo Fernan Bridge and Mandaue Bridge. CCLEX includes the main bridge structure, viaduct, causeway, roadway and toll facilities. Located around 7.5 km south of the first Mandaue Bridge, it will take off from the Cebu South Coastal Road at the prime South Road Properties (SRP) crossing the Mactan channel to Mactan Island.
Rodrigo E. Franco, president of Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC), proudly presented features of CCLEX during the press conference after the groundbreaking.
Check out his presentation below:
CCLEX_Project Brief_REF Presentation to the Presscon_For RELEASE
He said construction will begin in July 2017 and hopefully be done by 2020.
Osmeña and Sitoy
The President was joined by Manny Pangilinan, chairman of the Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation (MPTDC), Secretary Adelino Sitoy, presidential adviser for legislative affairs, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Cordova town Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy-Cho, Jose Maria Lim, president and CEO of Metro Pacific Investment Corp., and Rodrigo Franco, president of Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp.
Secretary Sitoy, who was also mayor of Cordova, welcomed the guests followed by messages from Mayor Osmeña and Pangilinan. Sitoy and Osmeña are the two local government co-grantors with MPTDC as the private proponent in this private-public partnership project.
In his speech, President Duterte addresed both Sitoy and Osmeña as builder of cities.
Senyor Santo Niño
Why finish CCLEX in 2020? Mr. Franco said, they want the bridge finished in time for the 2021 celebration of the 5th centennial or 500th anniversary of the arrival of the conquistador Ferdinand Magellan in Cebu and the arrival of Christianity, not only in the Philippines but also in South East Asia.
World history marks Mactan Island as the place where the native chieftain Lapu-Lapu killed the Magellan in 1521. He led the Spanish expedition that first circumnavigated the world. He also brought Christianity to this part of the world. In fact, Magellan and gifted Cebu with the popular religious relic and icon, Senyor Santo Niño.
Today, Cebu in central Philippines is known as the cradle of Christianity in Southeast Asia along with ASEAN’s biggest Catholic festival called the Sinulog festival and the feast of Senyor Santo Niño.
PRworks behind the scenes
Of course, officials of MPTDC and CCLEC (or the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway Corp.) ran the show at the front. Behind the scenes, PRworks coordinated closely with the principals’ Manila-based agency Pinnacle in putting things together for a successful groundbreaking ceremony with President Duterte in Pilipog, Cordova and the press conference and dinner at Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu City.
This meant, for instance, tapping and mobilizing local suppliers and resources ranging from IDs for guests and journalists, to the last minute requirements by both the Presidential Management Staff (that includes an air-con tent as holding room for the president) and the Presidential Security Group (two bullet-proof vehicles, among others).
In the race against time, PRworks took the initiative of tapping the enthusiasm of Duterte supporters who belong to the Kilusang Pagbabago (KP) to complete the holding room for President Duterte. In exchange for the use of her sala set, the gracious owner only asked for a photo as she sat on her sofa that the president would use inside the air-conditioned tent.
Moreover, PRworks was also instrumental in the management of issues arising from local political conflicts and ensuring the presence of all CCLEX stakeholders.
This we did aside from inviting and taking care of some 50 members of the local and national media, of course in coordination with and approval of Pinnacle and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).
At the end of the day, the CCLEX story unfolded as it should, ushering change that uplifts lives.
TELL YOUR STORY. MANAGE CHANGE. UPLIFT LIVES.
CCLEX: More than a bridge in Cebu by Emmanuel Mongaya