By: Arjay L. Balinbin, As seen on, 08:13 PM July 14, 2020

A UNIT of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) has set a target to open the Silang East section of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) project by the first quarter of 2021.

“We’re almost 50% (complete) in terms of Cavite. Section 5 which is leading to Silang East will be opened in the first quarter next year. And yes, we are working with the support of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to complete it within the term of the current administration,” MPCALA Holdings, Inc. President Roberto V. Bontia said in a recent virtual briefing.

Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar said: “We’re targeting to finish the whole alignment within this administration, and I think we’re well underway.”

As for the acquired right of way for the Cavite section of CALAX, Mr. Villar said: “I think we’re up to at least 40% or 50%.”

The 45.3-kilometer CALAX aims to connect the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) from Kawit, Cavite to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) at the Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.

The 10.7-kilometer Laguna side of the project from Mamplasan Interchange to Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Interchange is fully open to motorists. The road to Silang East is the first section of the Cavite side of CALAX.

Once fully operational, the P35.43-billion project is expected to cut travel time between CAVITEx and SLEx to 45 minutes from the current 2.5 hours.

MPCALA Holdings is controlled by MPTC, the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC). MPIC 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.