MANILA, Philippines ? Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) has paid the government the second tranche of the concession fees for the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) amounting to P4.37 billion ahead of due date.
MPTC said the payment was made ahead of the July 10 due date and was personally handed over by MPTC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan to Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar yesterday.
“This payment will help enable the national government to fund development projects, high-priority resource management programs, operations and concession-support activities,” Villar said.
The payment is the second of six tranches amounting to P27.3 billion in total concession fees under the 35-year CALAX concession.
MPTC paid the first tranche amounting to P5.46 billion in July 2015.
“It is our privilege to be the government’s private sector partner in this project of national significance. And despite this COVID-19 pandemic, our work continues to serve our communities, and our people,” Pangilinan said.
MPTC in May also advanced its tax payments to the Bureau of Internal Revenue valued at P1.03 billion to help the government’s fund-raising efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first 10-kilometer (km) portion of the 44.6-km, four-lane CALAX between Mamplasan, Binan City and Sta. Rosa City was opened to commuters in November last year.
Construction is under way for the next 7.2-km section between Sta. Rosa City and Silang, Cavite.
“We are making good construction progress, and together with DPWH Secretary Villar’s team, we are pulling out all the stops to deliver this important expressway. We believe the CALAX will enable mobility and become a real commuting option for our traffic harassed motorists in this new road corridor,” said Roberto Bontia, president of MPTC-unit MPCALA Holdings Inc.
The completion of the CALAX is expected to cut travel time between Kawit, Cavite to Binan City, Laguna to 45 minutes from the current 90 minutes, making industrial zones, residential areas and tourist destinations around the two provinces more accessible.