MANILA, Philippines —A unit of conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) targets to start building the P35.42-billion ($756.20-million) Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) by 2017, should the government deliver the necessary right of way in a year’s time.
“We should be able to start construction on the Cavite portion once there is considerable right of way that can justify us to start,” MPIC Director Ramoncito Fernandez told reporters on the sidelines of the 13th MAP International CEO Conference in Makati City on Tuesday, September 8.
On June 8, the government awarded MPIC unit MPCALA Holdings, Incorporated the 35-year contract to build, operate, and maintain CALAX, which involves the construction of a 44.6-kilometer 4-lane toll road between the Cavite Expressway in Kawit, Cavite, and the South Luzon Expressway-Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.
“From the notice of award in June, we hope that a substantial right of way can be delivered in a year’s time,” said ernandez, who is also the president and chief executive officer of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC).
As of now, the government has not yet delivered any right of way, the MPIC director said.
Fernandec said that once it starts construction, MPCALA will focus on the Cavite portion of the planned expressway first, and will work with the Department of Public Works and Highways to “expedite the process.”
The CALAX private-public partnership deal is seen to ease traffic congestion south of the capital.
On July 10, MPCALA Holdings formally inked the concession agreement and made a downpayment of P5.4 billion ($115.29 million), representing 20% of the P27.3-billion ($582.84-million) premium it offered to pay the government on top of the project’s P35.42-billion ($756.20-million) construction cost.
The balance of the concession fee is payable over 9 years. Fernandez said on Tuesday that his group is in discussions with a few banks but has yet to close a deal.
“Bank financing is not yet necessary,” the MPIC director said, adding that he “cannot disclose further” details yet.
Under the indicative timeline of DPWH, construction of CALAX is set to be finished by July 2020, while operation and maintenance is expected to commence in July 2020, and end in July 2050. – Rappler.com