December 11, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

BoI approves incentives for CALAX

THE Board of Investments (BoI) has okayed the grant of incentives for the Metro Pacific group’ P48.5-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) project, with the planned expressway among preferred initiatives under the government’s Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).

In a statement on Friday, the BoI said the CALAX -- a project of MPCALA Holdings, Inc., a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), the tollways arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) -- qualified for incentives by virtue of it being an infrastructure and private-public partnership (PPP) venture.

The agency said the project is expected to address the infrastructure needs of business locators and the general commuting public within the area.

“CALAX will greatly ease the movement of goods and services in the area, further boosting the economic activities in the Southern Tagalog region and create jobs,” Trade Undersecretary and BoI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo was quoted as saying in the statement.

Mr. Rodolfo added that the infrastructure development complements the Department of Trade and Industry’s strategy to further disperse economic activities across the region.

”The provinces of Cavite and Laguna are rapidly growing industrial and commercial hubs in the Southern Tagalog Region,” the BoI said in a statement.

MPCALA Holdings received the notice of award for the 35-year contract to build, operate, and maintain the expressway on June 8, 2015. The group earlier said it plans to break ground for the project by this month.

The 44.69-kilometer expressway will link the Manila-Cavite Expressway to South Luzon Expressway, traversing the provinces of Cavite and Laguna. CALAX is divided into two segments, the 26.48-km Cavite segment and the 18.15-km Laguna segment, including eight interchanges across its entire length.

MPCALA has tapped DM Consunji, Inc. for the construction of the project, which is expected to be operational by July 2020.

The IPP lists down priority investment projects qualified to receive incentives from the government in order to encourage local and foreign investors to locate their projects in urban and least developed areas.

MPIC is one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. -- A.B. Francia