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CALAX Financial Signing Ceremony

A consortium of the biggest universal banks in the country converged in one place in Makati yesterday for the ceremonial signing of the loan agreement between the bank consortium and the MP CALA Holdings, a subsidiary of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation of the MVP Group.

The banks, led by Banco de Oro Universal Bank, earlier approved a loan amounting to P24.2 billion, to finance the construction of the Cavite Laguna Expressway (CALAX), a 45 kilometer, four-lane tollway that begins at the SLEX Mamplasan exit and ends at the toll plaza of Cavitex in Kawit, Cavite. Other lenders include Unionbank of the Philippines, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Landbank of the Philippines and Security Bank.

In what is considered the “most modern expressway,” CALAX is viewed as a big ticket infrastructure project that will “start of a new momentum of regional growth” in provinces south of Metro Manila,” according to Public Works Secretary Mark A Villar, who was the guest of honor and speaker at the ceremonial signing. The well-attended ceremony was held at the Grand Ballroom of the The Manila Peninsula.

Secretary Villar cited CALAX as a “development force that will prompt accelerated growth in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Quezon,” adding that “tollways have always been at the forefront of our infrastructure building initiatives.”

Villar congratulated the Metro Pacific Tollways for their vision in addressing the infrastructure needs of provinces south of Mania, which is also the “mandate of the government’s ‘Build Build Build’ Program.” He also acknowledged the “expression of creditor confidence of our Philippines banks, notably their common desire to bankroll the accelerated development of our country.”

Rodrigo E, Franco, president and CEO of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), provided a valuable context to the occasion, declaring: “We had successfully tapped the promise of North Luzon (through NLEX)!

The time has come to bring out the development potential of South Luzon.” Franco told the group that Metro Pacific’s tollways group is on an “expansive mood” as it expands its tollway territory to include Cebu – and in neighboring ASEAN countries in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

CALAX, according to its President Roberto V. Bontia, will serve 50,000 motorists every day from Laguna and Cavite. The tollway will reduce travel time from the farthest point in Laguna to Manila in 30 minutes.

The tollway has a total of eight interchanges, and is made up of two segments. The Laguna Segment begins at the toll barrier coming from SLEX. The Cavite Segment starts at the Silang Interchange.

Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation holds in it’s portfolio of projects the NLEX, SCTEX, CAVITEX and current construction projects C5-South Link, Connector Road, and the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway in Cebu.

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