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Silang gov’t helps hasten completion of CALAX Silang-Aguinaldo

MPCALA Holdings, Inc., a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), on Sunday said the municipality of Silang in Cavite is helping the company in fast-tracking the right-of-way acquisition for the Silang (Aguinaldo) Interchange of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) project.

The completion of the Silang (Aguinaldo) Interchange of the P35.7-billion CALAX is expected by the first quarter of the year, MPCALA said in a statement to BusinessWorld on Sunday.

“That is the hope, to open sometime March or April depending on the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH)  propensity” to get the land, the company said.

It noted that Silang Mayor Kevin A. Anarna is trying to prepare his town “for both tourism and investments.” The Silang municipality is “helping us,” the company added.

The DPWH earlier said that a private company was demanding P50 million to P60 million — higher than the P16 million valuation of the agency — in compensation for the parcel of land that is critical to the completion of the CALAX Silang (Aguinaldo) Interchange.

“We are very willing to help MPCALA and the national government to fast-track the opening of the CALAX Silang (Aguinaldo) Interchange,” Mr. Anarna said in a statement.

The road section, which is now 64% finished, was scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2022.

The fifth of the eight segments of the 45-kilometer CALAX spans 3.9 kilometers, with 2×2 lanes from Silang East Interchange to Aguinaldo Highway.

According to the DPWH, the entire project is expected to provide efficient transport facilities for the ecozones in Cavite and Laguna.

It is also seen to reduce traffic congestion, particularly on Governor’s Drive, Aguinaldo Highway and Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road, and boost the competitiveness of Region IV-A or CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) as an investment destination.

Once fully operational, the project is expected to cut travel time between the Manila–Cavite Expressway and the South Luzon Expressway to 45 minutes from the current 2.5 hours.

MPTC is the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which 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. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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