By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter
MPCALA Holdings Inc. (MPHI), a unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), is hoping to start collecting initial toll fees for the newly opened 10-kilometer Mamplasan Interchange-Sta. Rosa segment of the Cavite-Laguna-Expressway (CALAx) by February at the latest.
The TRB (Toll Regulatory Board) will meet in the middle of January. We cannot collect until we get the notice to start collection… so we are expecting sana third or fourth week, but the [Department of Public Works and Highways] secretary mentioned na February, ‘di ba? We are hoping na ‘yun na ‘yung latest,” MPHI President and General Manager Roberto V. Bontia told BusinessWorld in a phone interview on Thursday.
He said MPCALA filed the petition recently and received the notice to publish last Monday.
In a bulletin published in newspapers on Tuesday, MPCALA is seeking to implement the following provisional toll rates for the 10-kilometer Mamplasan Interchange-Sta. Rosa segment of CALAx: P47 for class 1 vehicles (cars), P95 for class 2 vehicles (mini vans and buses), and P143 for class 3 vehicles (large truck and trailers).
The initial base toll rates are: P4.50/km for class 1 vehicles, P9/km for class 2 vehicles, and P13.50/km for class 3 vehicles.
The company said it hopes the TRB will “immediately issue an Order exparte granting MPCALA’s prayer for the provisional relief, i.e. an Order implementing the initial base toll rates and the corresponding provisional initial toll, effective 01 January 2020, and authorizing MPCALA to collect the same.”
Once MPCALA complies with the publication requirement, the TRB will then seek approval from the board, and then issue the notice to start collection.
The Laguna segment of CALAx became fully operational last Monday, which means it will now be covered by MPCALA’s full time traffic management teams and 24/7 roadside services.
MPCALA began partial operations of the 10-kilometer segment on Oct. 30.
The whole CALAx project covers 45.3 kilometers of expressway linking the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) from Kawit, Cavite to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) at the Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.
The remaining portion of the toll road is still under construction and is scheduled for completion by the second quarter of 2022.
The P35.43-billion project is being undertaken by the Metro Pacific group through MPCALA, which is under Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC).
MPTC is the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., one of three key Philippine units of Hong-Kong based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.
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