First PPP project under Aquino opens

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The highway, also known as Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway Link Road, connects Bacoor, Cavite to the South Luzon Expressway.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — After more than three years, the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX), the first project under President Benigno Aquino III's flagship Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program, has been completed and is now operational.

The president personally checked on the project.  He drove his own car, got his toll card and paid the fee. His passenger: Ayala Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

In April 2012, Ayala signed the 30-year concession agreement.  But the delivery of the road right of way delayed the project. Ayala began early works on the road in May 2013.

The MCX is expected to help relieve traffic congestion along the Daang Hari Road and Commerce Avenue — where vehicle build-up could reach over a kilometer at peak hours. It's estimated to benefit more than 20,000 motorists everyday.

The MCX is expected to save travel time by an average of 45 minutes. It is three kilometers shorter than the Commerce Avenue-Filinvest route, and 1.5 kilometers shorter than the Daang Hari-Alabang Zapote route to Makati.

The Ayala Corporation invested  P2.2 billion to build the road, including a P902 million cash payment to the government.

"It's been a great project that we hope contributes to the national development goals of the government... We have a very pleasant arrangement with the Vista group on one side and we have interoperability as well as with the South Super [Highway] as well," Ayala said.

Public Works Sec. Rogelio Singson said the project will substantially improve traffic in the area.

MCX toll rates are set at P17 for Class 1 vehicles, P34 for Class 2 vehicles, and P51 for Class 3 vehicles.

Ayala announced that the first month use of the MCX is free.