MPCALA Holdings Inc., a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), has started preparatory works for the construction of the Cavite segment of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAx).

“Preparations to start construction on the Second Segment (Silang to Kawit) has begun this 2020,” MPCALA said in a statement on Monday.

It said it opened last Sunday the first segment of CALAx, the 10.7-kilometer stretch from Mamplasan entry to Santa Rosa-Tagaytay interchange, after it secured a go-signal from the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) to collect initial toll fees.

The entire Cavite segment of CALAx is scheduled for completion in 2022.

“The 45-kilometer CALAx is a 2×2 lane expressway that will soon connect the CAVITEx (Manila-Cavite Expressway) in Kawit, Cavite to the Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna. CALAx will have interchanges in eight locations, namely: Cavitex Connection to Open Canal Road, Governor’s Drive, Silang, Silang East, Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay, Laguna Blvd., Technopark to Greenfield before SLEx,” MPCALA said.

MPCALA President and General Manager Roberto V. Bontia said of the opening of the Laguna segment of CALAx last Sunday: “The end-to-end opening of the First Segment of CALAX is imperative to reduce traffic congestion in various parts of Laguna specifically Laguna Boulevard and Aguinaldo Highway. Now that all lanes are accessible, it serves as a viable option for motorists given the growing traffic demands in the area.”

Also for the first segment, MPCALA said CALAx will be collecting value-added tax-inclusive rates of P47 for ordinary cars, P95 for buses and small commercial trucks, and P143 for large trucks or trailers.

MPTC’s domestic portfolio includes concessions for North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), NLEx Connector Bridge, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), and Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEx) in Cebu, in addition to its CALAx and CAVITEx network of toll roads.

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. 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. — Arjay L. Balinbin