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Business

MPTC invests P2 billion to link Cavitex, Calax

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) is investing P2 billion to link the Manila–Cavite Toll Expressway (CAVITEX) and Cavite–Laguna Expressway (CALAX).

Roberto Bontia, president and general manager of MPTC-unit Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. (CIC), said in a virtual briefing yesterday that the construction of the one kilometer connector road may start either late this year or early next year.

Bontia said the project would be constructed in anticipation of the completion of the 45-km CALAX by 2023. “What is very definite in terms of extension of CAVITEX is our connection to CALAX. We call that the Segment 4 extension, which will connect Kawit to the last interchange of CALAX. That will be roughly one kilometer of elevated toll road that will connect CAVITEX and CALAX,” he said.

“That’s one definite project we are going to undertake, hopefully late this year or early next year,” he said.

At present, CIC, together with its joint venture partner Philippine Reclamation Authority, is moving forward with the completion of the CAVITEX C5 Link project.

The CAVITEX C5 Link is a 7.7-kilometer 2x3 lane expressway that will connect CAVITEX R1 to C5 Road in Taguig.

The P15-billion project is comprised of Segments 2 and 3.

Since 2019, C5 Link segment 3A-1 connecting Merville to C5 Road has been operational, while constructions of Segment 3A-2 stretching from E. Rodriguez to Merville, and Segment 2 from CAVITEX R1 Interchange to Sucat Interchange are underway.

Construction progress of Segment 3A-2 is now at 30 percent, with completion eyed by the first quarter of next year.

Segment 2, on the other hand, has a 17 percent construction progress, and is targeted to be finished by the fourth quarter of 2022.

Meanwhile, construction of Segment 3B from Sucat to E. Rodriguez, according to CIC, is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year.

“We are  proceeding with the construction for this vital infrastructure project amidst the challenges of stricter lockdown. Together with our joint venture partner, PRA, we are committed to ensure welfare of our workers and adherence to safety protocols in continuing the works for the project,” Bontia said.

Once completed, the CAVITEX C5 Link will reduce travel time between CAVITEX to Makati and Taguig and vice versa by 30 to 45 minutes.

The link is expected  to benefit around 50,000 motorists, particularly those coming from Taguig, Makati, Las Piñas and Pasay.

In a separate development, Metro Pacific Investments Corp., in a stock exchange filing, said MPTC units NLEX Corp. and CIC have received notice of the rulings of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (Tribunal) in their respective arbitration cases filed against the government, acting by and through the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB).

In the NLEX case, MPIC said the Tribunal held that under the factual circumstances of the case, the TRB is not liable for unreasonable delay on the petitions for toll rate adjustment filed in 2012 and 2014.

The rejection of the claim, however, is without prejudice to further review by the TRB of the said petitions.

MPIC said the Tribunal noted that the TRB already decided on the 2012 and 2014 petitions when the agency issued its resolution in 2018 approving an upward adjustment in the toll rates in NLEX, which have been implemented since March 2019.

MPIC said the Tribunal also denied NLEX’s claim for damages and ruled that each party will bear the costs of arbitration in equal shares and will bear their own costs of legal representation and assistance.

In the case of CAVITEX, MPIC said a final termination order was issued, considering that the claimants CIC and PRA have earlier withdrawn both their claims for compensation arising from non-approval of their petitions for rate adjustment filed in 2011 and 2014.

The order, thus, terminates the CAVITEX arbitration case, it said.  In the meantime, MPIC said the petitions are now being processed by the TRB.

MPIC, through NLEX, had previously filed a notice of arbitration to seek compensation for toll rate adjustments amounting to P3 billion. Through CIC, it had also issued a notice of arbitration and statement of claim amounting to P877 million.

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