By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star)
Updated April 28, 2011 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines – President Aquino led the inauguration yesterday of the newly-completed Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway tollway or “Cavitex”, a seven-kilometer that directly links Cavite to the coastal road.
The inauguration caps several inaugurations made by Mr. Aquino’s predecessors – former presidents Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Arroyo – who all planted time capsules in the highway, according to Cavite Rep. and former Governor Ireneo “Ayong” Maliksi.
“Ang oras na dati ay nasasayang sa loob ng sasakyan ay mailalaan na ninyo sa mas mahahalagang bagay: dagdag na oras upang makapiling ang pamilya, maging produktibo, at makapagpahinga, (The time that used to be wasted inside a car can now be used for more important things such additional time with family, becoming productive and resting.)” Aquino said in his speech.
Among the attendees were senators Panfilo Lacson and Serge Osmeña, representatives Maliksi, Joseph Emilio Abaya and Jesus Crispin Remulla, Gov. Jonvic Remulla, former Prime Minister Cesar Virata, former senator and now Philippine Reclamation Authority chairman Ramon Revilla Sr.
Luis Juan Virata, chairman of UEM-Mara Philippines Corp. which entered into a partnership with PRA for the Cavitex project, said toll rates will stay at P58 for one year, in line with the government’s policy to help the poor cushion the impact of skyrocketing prices.
He said Cavitex can withstand a six magnitude earthquake and can accommodate a light plane that may intend to land, perhaps in cases of emergency. It will be opened to the commuting public by May 1.
In newspaper ads, UEM-Mara Philippines, said Cavitex, which is overlooking Manila Bay, will cut travel time from Zapote to Kawit (towns in Cavite) to only eight minutes. From Manila to Kawit, travel time will be 20 minutes instead of an hour and a half.
Cavitex will be a boost to Cavite tourism and will allow commercial traffic to move goods quicker from Port Area and NAIA to the Cavite Export Processing Zone, which is essential to nationwide economic development.