Land payment issue delaying CALAX section opening

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 8) — A right-of-way (ROW) issue continues to stall the completion of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) interchange, with the private landowner demanding higher payments, a government official said.

The company which owns the 450 square meters of land needed to finish the 3.9-kilometer Silang (Aguinaldo) Interchange is now seeking compensation ranging from ₱50 million to ₱60 million, Department of Public Works and Highways (DWPH) Public-Private Partnership Service Director Alex G. Bote said in a recent meeting with Silang, Cavite Mayor Kevin Anarna.

The government valuation for the property, however, was only at ₱16 million.

"We’re okay to bring this matter to the court. It should be placed under just compensation. The government will still pay for that if the court decides that it’s really ₱60 million," he said.

In a mobile message over the weekend, Bote said the DPWH would seek the issuance of a writ of possession after the agency failed to resolve the ROW issue last month.

A letter to the Office of Court Administration requesting for assistance has been prepared as well.

If settled within January, the DPWH official said that it was still feasible for the CALAX operator, MPCALA Holdings, to finish the segment in the first quarter of 2023.

Once operational, the interchange is expected to boost traffic volume along the operating segments of CALAX from the current 33,000 vehicles daily to 40,000.