THE first segment of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) will be fully operational for the holidays, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.

After an inspection of the toll road over the weekend, Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar said the 10-kilometer portion of CALAX from Mamplasan Interchange to Sta. Rosa City is scheduled for full operationalization by today.

“Starting next week, fully operational na siya… by Monday. Pipilitin natin na [We’ll do our best for it to be] fully operational before Christmas,” Mr. Villar told reporters on Saturday.

“I have already requested the concession company, MPCALA Holdings, (Inc.) to keep this section open so that our holiday goers can continue to enjoy this shortcut from Manila to Tagaytay City,” he added.

MPCALA started partial operations of the 10-kilometer segment of CALAX on Oct. 30. Once it is “fully operational,” this means permits would have been issued and the segment will be covered by MPCALA’s full time traffic management teams and 24/7 roadside services.

Mr. Villar said some 10,000 motorists are expected to benefit from the 10-kilometer section of CALAX once fully operational.

The whole CALAX project covers 45.3 kilometers of expressway linking the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) from Kawit, Cavite to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) at the Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.

The remaining portion of the toll road is still under construction and is scheduled for completion by the second quarter of 2022.

The P35.43-billion project is being undertaken by the Metro Pacific group through MPCALA, which is under Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC).

MPTC is the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., one of three key Philippine units of Hong-Kong based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.

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