Cavite-Laguna Expressway breaks ground

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 19) — The ₱35-billion peso road project to link Cavite to Laguna breaks ground Monday with the aim of cutting travel time from 2 hours to just 45 minutes.

The expressway, referred to as the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) will link Kawit to Biñan and will span 45 km with eight interchanges.

The thoroughfare will not only help decongest Metro Manila traffic by 2020, but will also support cities around southern Luzon where malls, factories, subdivisions and schools are fast sprouting.

"CALAX will be one of the most advanced highways in the Philippines. It expected to ease traffic congestion along Governor's Drive, Aguinaldo Highway and Santa Rosa Tagaytay Road," Public Works Secretary Mak Villar had noted.

The closed-system, modern-tolled expressway was awarded by the government to private concessionaire MPCALA Holdings, Inc. of the Metro Pacific Group, who won the competitive bidding under the government's public-private partnership (PPP) program.

It is one of 12 PPP deals forged during the Aquino administration.

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There's hope that CALAX would show what the private sector can contribute to the country. Under the Duterte presidency, the government has preferred to take on projects alone or rely on foreign loans instead.

But economic managers say they are open to different modes of building infrastructure — whatever will get things done in the fastest and cheapest way possible.

CNN Philippines' Claire Jiao contributed to this report.