DPWH to acquire majority of CALAX right-of-way by yearend

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THE Department of Public Works and Highways and MPCALA Holdings, Inc. conducted an inspection of the Laguna segment of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway on Tuesday. — DENISE A. VALDEZ

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said it is on track to complete the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) by 2022 with a target of delivering 70% right-of-way for the Cavite segment before the year ends.

DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar said on Tuesday the government has already acquired 40% right-of-way for the 27.2-kilometer Cavite section of the toll road, and this is expected to move up to 70% in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“Majority na siguro ng right-of-way by the end of the year, siguro mga 70% [Majority of the right of way may likely be delivered by the end of the year, maybe around 70%],” he told reporters, referring to the Cavite segment of CALAX.

The DPWH and the project’s concessionaire MPCALA Holdings, Inc. conducted an inspection of the Laguna segment of CALAX on Tuesday. They determined that the first three sections from Mamplasan to Sta. Rosa will be ready to be opened by end-October.

“Target namin by the end of the month i-open namin itong 10-kilometer segment [Our target is to open by the end of the month this 10-kilometer segment],” Mr. Villar said, referring to a portion of the 18.1- kilometer Laguna segment of CALAX.

The DPWH expects about 10,000 cars benefitting from the three sections once it opens, easing congestion along Governor’s Drive, Aguinaldo Highway and Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road.

The whole 45.3-kilometer CALAX will connect the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) from Kawit, Cavite to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) at the Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.

The P35.43-billion project will have interchanges at Kawit, Imus Open Canal, Governor’s Drive, Aguinaldo Highway, Silang, Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay, Laguna Boulevard, Technopark and a toll barrier before SLEx.

Once operational by the second quarter of 2022, CALAX is seen to cut travel time between CAVITEx and SLEx to 45 minutes from the current 2.5 hours.

MPCALA Holdings is under Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC). MPIC is one of three key Philippine units of Hong-Kong based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Denise A. Valdez