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CALAX Aguinaldo section seen completed by June

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said it has set a June target for completing the P35.7-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) project up to the Silang (Aguinaldo) Interchange.

“We hope in two to three months … we can finish up to the Aguinaldo (interchange),” Public Works Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan told reporters recently.

The nearly 45-kilometer CALAX project is expected to cut travel time between South Luzon Expressway and the Manila-Cavite Expressway to 45 minutes from the current 2.5 hours.

It is expected to reduce congestion along Governor’s Drive, the Aguinaldo Highway and the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road, and boost the competitiveness of Region IV-A or Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon).

According to Mr. Bonoan, the government has completed the acquisition of right of way for the Aguinaldo section of the project.

The DPWH hopes to deliver the remaining right-of-way acquisitions for the entire length of CALAX within the year.

“I was able to talk to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and they assured me that they will be releasing the funds necessary for the acquisition of the right of way for CALAX,” he added.

For this year, Mr. Bonoan said that the DBM and the DPWH set aside about P2 billion for CALAX right-of-way acquisition.

CALAX is a public-private partnership project with the DPWH and MPCALA Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC).

MPTC is the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which is one of the three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd. together with 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. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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