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Everything You Need to Know about CALAX
April 21, 2022 by Martin Luigi Lagustan
Finding a house and lot for sale in Cavite and Laguna is going to get even easier soon.
Since these two provinces are considered to be one of the fastest-growing industrial and commercial centers in Southern Tagalog, traffic flow congestion became a hassle. With this new expressway called CALAX made by Filipino architects, you’re in for a faster, safer, and more comfortable route through Cavite, Laguna, and SLEX.
What is Cavite Laguna Expressway - CALAX?
The Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) is a 35.43 billion peso project costs, 44.63-kilometer expressway that began in July 2019. It uses a closed-system toll and it connects Manila–Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), starting from the CAVITEX in Kawit, Cavite, and extends to the SLEX-Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna. This expressway will have convenient interchanges in 9 key locations, including Laguna Technopark, Laguna Boulevard, Santa Rosa-Tagaytay, Silang, Aguinaldo Highway, Governor’s Drive, Daang Hari, and Kawit. It is also a major part of the country's Build Build Build Program.
Photo from: https://www.portcalls.com/calax-5km-silang-to-tagaytay-interchange-subsection-opens/
Finding a house and lot for sale in these locations will be a smart choice if you want easy access to Metro Manila.
Once completed, the overall CALAX map will be an alternative route to and from Metro Manila through the CAVITEX in Kawit. This is one of the solutions applied to ease the congested traffic in the Cavite-Laguna area, specifically along the Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road, Aguinaldo Highway, and Governor’s Drive (sometimes even in the SLEX itself).
Initially, there were 15 companies that wanted to handle the CALAX project, including:
Megawide Engineering Excellence
Korea Expressway Corporation
San Miguel Corporation
L & T Infrastructure Development Projects Limited
Alloy MTD Philippines Inc.
Makati Development Corporation
Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte. Limited
Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation
Leighton Contractors (Philippines)
AC Infrastructure Holdings, E.F.C. Enterprises
M/s IL&FS Transportation Networks Limited (ITNL)
Tokwing Construction Corporation/STX Enterprises (J.V.)
On June 12, 2014, Team Orion, the joint partnership of Aboitiz Equity Ventures and Ayala Corporation, won the bid. They placed a concession payment worth 11.659 billion pesos for the public-private partnership (PPP) project. However, the government decided to rebid the project in 2015 because they wanted to get the best deal. In the end, MPCALA Holdings (an association headed by the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation) won by offering a concession premium of 27.3 billion pesos to be paid to the government of the Philippines.
On June 19, 2017, Together with the DPWH Secretary Mark Villar they conducted the groundbreaking ceremony of the project. Although the CALAX construction was expected to start sometime in April 2018. Meanwhile, they conducted the groundbreaking ceremony of the Cavite side of the expressway on March 27, 2019. On the other hand, the Laguna side was partially operational.
Both Cavite and Laguna segments were expected to be completed and fully operational by this year, 2022. However, in 2020, the overall CALAX expressway map was closed because they had to conduct clearing operations brought on by the ashfall when the Taal volcano erupted. Consequently, in 2021, it was announced that the CALAX project will be delayed until the first quarter of 2023 because of the pandemic.
During a virtual interview with reporters, Roberto Bontia, the MPCALA Holdings president and general manager, said that the right of way acquisition was challenging in 2021 because some courts needed to go on lockdown because of infections. In April 2021, the overall ROW acquisition for the Cavite segment was at 55.5%. This includes earthworks, clearing, and tree-cutting activities to make way for the road. On the other hand, the Laguna segment is 93% complete and opened last third quarter of 2021.
Photo taken from: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialCALAX/photos/pcb.337757367606045/337757337606048/
Some of its initially opened entry and exit points are the Santa Rosa City Exit, Silang East Exit Interchange and the Laguna Boulevard Exit.
As of March 25, 2022, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) says that the total completion for the Laguna segment is 92.644%, the total for the Cavite segment is 26.52%, and the total for the entire CALAX is at 52.33%. According to their website, the projected completion is July 2022. However, if further delays occur, we might as well expect it to be Q1 2023.
How to get CALAX RFID
Since CALAX is operated by the MPT Southern Corporation, this means that it uses the Easytrip RFID for ETC toll gates. Luckily, it is fairly easy to get the RFID as it is free and available for both walk-in and drive-thru consumers through Easytrip installation sites.
Step #1: Fill out the Easytrip registration form
All you have to do is download and fill out their registration form on their site and go to the nearest Easytrip stations in SCTEX, NLEX, C5 Link, CAVITEX, or CALAX (the registration form is also available in all their stations so you can fill out the form from there).
Step #2: Pay initial consumable load
In the station, you will be asked to pay the initial load. Don’t worry, it’s consumable and has no expiry date, so you’re basically paying for your own toll fees. However, the initial load may vary depending on where you got your RFID installed. If you’re coming from South stations, you only have to pay 200 pesos. Meanwhile, for North Easytrip stations, they require an initial 500 pesos.
Step #3: Wait for installation and testing
Finally, wait for the person to assist you in installing your RFID. They will most likely place this on one of your headlights.
Note that Easytrip requires that you bring the car that you want for installation because they have a “no car, no installation” policy. They did offer Stick-It-Yourself RFIDs on their official Lazada and Shopee stores, but it was only limited between May 2020 and September 2020.
If you want the Easytrip RFID Express, you have to register your account through their website to receive updates and other information.
Easytrip CALAX Stations
Photo taken from: https://www.dpwh.gov.ph/dpwh/news/16734
Luckily, Easytrip has a lot of stations. You can check out their website for their stations in NLEX, SCTEX, CAVITEX, and C5 Link. For CALAX, they have stations in the following:
Mamplasan-Greenfield Customer Service
The nearest landmark is before the Mamplasan Toll Plaza Exit (going to Biñan). Some of the services they offer include RFID Replacement, RFID Health Check, Autosweep Activation, Appointment thru ORRAS, RFID Installation (walk-in), and Reloading.
This one is easy because it’s only along SLEX. Some of the services they offer include RFID Health Check and Replacement, Reloading, and Appointment thru ORRAS. However, they only serve Class 1 vehicles.
Sta. Rosa Easytrip Tent
The nearest landmark is before the Santa Rosa Entry Toll Plaza. Some of the services they offer include RFID Replacement, RFID Health Check, Autosweep Activation, Easyrip RFID Installation (walk-in), and Reloading. If you’re looking for a house and lot for sale in Santa Rosa, Laguna, then you might as well get your Easytrip RFID here. You can even go on a quick trip to Tagaytay while you’re there.
How to go to Tagaytay via CALAX
If you’re coming from Metro Manila, going to Tagaytay has never been this fast and easy. While CALAX is yet to finish, there are two ways you can go to Tagaytay via CALAX: through Silang, Cavite, or through the CALAX Silang Toll - Santa Rosa - Tagaytay Road.
From Manila, find your way to SLEX and keep going until you reach Biñan exit. From there, you will enter the CALAX Toll Booth Biñan and keep going until you reach the CALAX Silang Toll and take the exit. Through there, you will enter the Santa Rosa - Tagaytay Road and take that route until you reach Tagaytay City. The Santa Rosa -Tagaytay Road is one of the most convenient routes to Tagaytay. If you’re looking for a premium home along this road, check out Valenza Mansions for Italian-inspired upscale real estate condominiums.
If you want a more explorative route, don’t take the CALAX Silang Toll. Instead, keep going on CALAX until you reach Tibig Service Roads. Take this path until you reach Munting Ilog, then to Pook street. From there, take East Asuncion until you reach J. Rizal, then Silang-Banaybanay Road. This is the town of Silang, Cavite where you can visit some of the most historic churches, including the Divine Mercy Parish Church and Our Lady of Candelaria Parish Church.
After your quick Silang trip, just take the Emilio Aguinaldo Highway and you’ll be in Tagaytay before you know it.
If you’re going to Tagaytay to look for some of the best and most exclusive condos, check out Pine Suites Tagaytay. It’s a Modern Danish architecture-inspired condominium with a resort-like community, perfectly situated on Bonifacio Drive (adjacent to Tagaytay - Nasugbu Highway), not too far from the city where you can still enjoy a little peace and quiet.
Other great places to visit via CALAX
Aside from Tagaytay, there are other great places you can visit in Cavite. When CALAX finally finishes, you can get access to some of the most historic and fun places after just a couple of hours of driving.
Dasmariñas City is one of the wealthiest cities in the province of Cavite and is considered to be a “first-class city.”
Some of the most historical events that occurred in Dasmariñas City include the revolution in 1896-1897 when the town of Dasmariñas became a bloody battlefield. Notable Filipino Generals like Crispulo Aguinaldo and Flaviano Yengko died during this event.
If you want a little blast from the past, you can visit the Museo De La Salle. There, you will experience the lifestyle of the Ilustrados — the educated class of Filipinos during the Spanish period in the 19th century.
You can also take a little vacation and play at The Orchard Golf & Country Club. It is one of the most popular and well-managed golf courses in the Philippines, perfect if you’re looking for 18-hole golf courses. It is, however, a private membership club. You can contact them through Facebook if you want more information.
Kawit, Cavite is where it all started. This is the birthplace of the independence of our country and is where the first Philippine flag was waved to proclaim our independence from the Spaniards. But even before that, Kawit was a witness to the years of hardships of the Filipinos who fought their way for liberty.
These days, Kawit has very developed. However, some major historical sites still stand up today.
St. Mary Magdalene Church of Kawit is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It is a wooden church that is considered to be earthquake-proof. Some of the most historic events that happened here were Emilio Aguinaldo’s baptism and, ironically, this is also where Emilio’s father was buried. From an aerial standpoint, you will see that the church is shaped like a cross, which is one of the main attributes of the church.
Another historical place in Kawit is the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine, which is also the ancestral house of the first president of the Republic of the Philippines, Emilio Aguinaldo. The entire mansion is over 14,000 square meters. It has grand living and dining rooms, antique decorated ceilings and walls, bedroom suites, grand halls, a library, a swimming pool, and even its own hospital.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a house and lot for sale as it was declared a National Shrine in 1964, the same year Emilio Aguinaldo died.
Aside from history, Kawit is also known for its tapsi or tapa — beef dried or cured with salt and spices. The Hidden Tapsihan (Main) is considered to be the best place to eat tapsi. The place is fairly cheap, but the flavor is definitely one to remember.
Carmona is a town in Cavite that is named after the Spanish province of Siville. These days, it’s an industrial community and is the only town in the country that provides its locals free till rights to the agricultural lands for 3 years. The town is known to promote agricultural advancement even before the country created agricultural reforms.
While Splash Island of Biñan is nearby, Carmona has its fair share of adventure waiting for you.
High 5 Paragliding is a Tandem Paragliding activity where you fly and glide through the skies of Cavite. High 5 is one of the best paragliding operators in the Philippines, all with new equipment to provide the highest safety procedures for you. You can check out their website for more info.
Related Blog: The Benefits of Living Close to the South Luzon Expressway