By: Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star), as seen on, July 30, 2018 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), the tollway arm of conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), is set to secure P25 billion from several local banks to fund the construction of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAx) project.

“For CALAx, we are expecting to close the financing by next month. That’s about P25.3 billion,” said Luigi Bautista, president and CEO of Metro Pacific Tollways South, a business unit of MPTC.

Bautista said the financing would come from around six local banks.

“It’s both for the Laguna side and the Cavite side. But part of the Laguna side, we’re already using equity as you know because we already started the work,” he said.

CALAx is a 45-kilometer (km), four-lane expressway that will link the Manila Cavite Toll Expressway (Cavitex) and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

The project will start at Cavitex in Kawit, Cavite and end at the SLEX-Mamplasan interchange in Biñan, Laguna.

The Cavite segment will cover 27-km while the Laguna segment will span 18-km.

MPIC unit MPCALA Holdings Inc. was awarded the P35.43 billion CALAx project under the public private partnership program during the previous administration.

Last week, the Department of Public Works and Highways granted the original proponent status to MPTC’s 50.42-km Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway (CTBEx), a project expected to cost P22.43 billion.

Bautista said MPTC also intends to raise funds for the project upon final award.

“It will still undergo the process through NEDA and negotiations of the concession terms and Swiss challenge. So it will still undergo a process, so by the time that we get the final award, that’s the time we will go to the lenders and seek funding,” Bautista said.