As a resident living in South Metro Manila, I always prefer to see the entire Philippines’ infrastructure get developed and expanded tremendously because the benefits of improved travel time and experience will be felt by the riding public for the long term. At the same time, such improvements will help travelers reach the far-away destinations with better speed and in less time.
Today I learned about some good news – the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAEX) has started construction beginning with a 27-kilometer section. A groundbreaking ceremony was held at Alapan II-B Village in Cavite Province on March 27. The CALAEX itself has a grand total distance of 45 kilometers.
As announced on the Philippine News Agency (PNA) website, the P12-billion Cavite segment will ensure a safe, efficient and seamless travel for motorists from the history town of Kawit in Cavite to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) – Mamplasan Interchange. It is expected to cut travel time from 2.5 hours to less than 45 minutes and help decongest approximately fifty thousand cars.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar declared that the project is part of the President Rodrigo Duterte administration’s masterplan to connect Luzon from north to south, to be called the “Luzon Spine Expressway Network” (LSEN), to increase the current 300-km. high-speed expressway to 1,000 km. by the year 2022. Duterte’s term of office will end in that year.
“We will deliver not just on our promise to solve traffic, but to bring development to our provinces,” Villar announced.
More on speed, the expressways are not only expected to cut travel time for motorists but help add to the development of the provinces of Cavite and Laguna. Cavite is now the biggest in terms of population among the country’s provinces, with an estimated 4.1 million people according to 2016 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.
In terms of cooperation, Cavite Governor Jesus Crispin Remulla said this “speaks volumes about the dynamism of the government and its private partner.” He said the expressway will connect Laguna and Cavite, and declog the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).
Meanwhile the Laguna segment of the CALAEX project is now in full swing which, according to Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) president and Chief Executive Officer, Rodrigo Franco, is expected to open the first section during the third quarter or as early as July this year.
When it comes to economic development by means of job creation, the CALAEX will employ some 1,200 personnel for its Laguna segment and close to 1,300 more for site and office personnel as its Cavite segment progresses. It is part of the network of toll roads that the MPTC is constructing and developing, which will connect to Cavitex and the C5-South Link and will make transfers from Laguna, Cavite, Las Piñas, Parañaque, and CP Garcia Ave. seamless.
The CALAEX is one of many projects being done under the highly ambitious Build Build Build program of the Duterte administration. Build Build Build lists down high impact projects that are envisioned to improve the economy, increase incomes, invite investments leading to job creation. In his 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda, President Duterte envisioned the reduction of poverty from 21.6% in 2015 to 13% to 15% in 2022. It was emphasized that the acceleration of infrastructure development will pave the way for a more comfortable life, better travel and improved economic development nationwide.