‘Most modern’ Cavite-Laguna road link secures P24.2-B loan

By: Miguel R. Camus

The construction of the 45-kilometer Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CalaEx) is expected to gain speed as its private sector concessionaire sealed a crucial loan deal.

A ceremonial signing was held on Thursday night to close a P24.2-billion term loan agreement between a unit of Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and a group of banks composed of BDO Unibank Inc., UnionBank of the Philippines, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Land Bank of the Philippines and Security Bank Corp.

CalaEx, which is among the public-private partnership projects awarded under the previous administration, will link the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) Mamplasan Exit to the Cavite Expressway in Kawit, Cavite.

The project aims to cut the usual multihour travel time between Manila and Laguna to around 30 minutes.

CalaEx, which will be completed in 2020, was bagged by Metro Pacific unit MP CALA Holdings in 2015 following a rebidding exercise.

“The time has come to bring out the development potential of South Luzon,” said Rodrigo Franco, CEO of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), which serves as the tollroad arm of Metro Pacific. MPTC’s other roads include Cavite Expressway, North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway.

Roberto V. Bontia, who heads the CalaEx project, said the toll road would be serving 50,000 motorists every day from Laguna and Cavite.

The tollway has a total of eight interchanges, and is made up of two segments. The Laguna segment begins at the toll barrier coming from SLEx while the Cavite segment starts at the Silang Interchange.

The signing event was attended by Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, who called the project “the most modern expressway” that would boost economic growth in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Quezon.

MPTC is also building the C5 South Link, the NLEx-SLEx connector road and the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway in Cebu. Its overseas portfolio includes toll roads in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.