Friday, June 14, 2024

DPWH bares progress of CL infra projects

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THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region 3 Office announced the progress of the agency’s infrastructure projects during the initial episode of the “Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas” — a weekly forum featuring national government agencies hosted by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

The initial episode of the weekly forum was held at the DPWH Regional Office 3 in the city of San Fernando on Tuesday.

DPWH Region 3 Director Roseller Tolentino was joined by Assistant Director Melquiades Sto. Domingo and Planning and Design Division chief Arthur Santos in a panel discussion administered by PIA Region 3 Director William Beltran.

KAPIHAN FORUM Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) Regional Director Roseller Tolentino (2nd from left) highlights the completed, ongoing and planned infrastructure projects in Central Luzon during the first episode of the ‘Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas’ of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Region 3 at the DPWH Region 3 Office in San Fernando, Pampanga, on May 28, 2024. Also in photo are, from left, PIA 3 Director William Beltran, DPWH Assistant Regional Director Melquiades Sto. Domingo, and Planning and Design Division chief Arthur Santos. PHOTO BY FREDERICK SILVERIO

During the forum, Tolentino highlighted the physical connectivity and agri-infra modernization accomplishments in Central Luzon, citing its impact on the local and regional economy, as well as the projects’ benefits to stakeholders.

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Tolentino said that one of the most prominent road projects expected to hasten mobility within the region is the 28.83-kilometer Lubao-Guagua-Minalin Sto. Tomas Bypass Road in Pampanga wherein the impacts and benefits will alleviate congestion on Jose Abad Santos Avenue, reduce travel time from northeastern to southern Pampanga from one hour to just 20 minutes, and stimulate economic growth.

The proposed 4-lane bypass road, the 27.05-kilometer San Rafael-San Ildefonso-San Miguel Bypass Road in Bulacan, will reduce traffic on Daang Maharlika through San Rafael, San Ildefonso and San Miguel; connect San Miguel-Capan-Cabanatuan-Talavera Road and Phase 2 of CLLEx; cut travel time between San Rafael and San Miguel by 30 minutes; and boost regional economic growth by enhancing accessibility and reducing congestion.

“These bypass road projects are underway, and once completed, they will help significantly reduce travel times and alleviate decongestion along our existing national roads in Bulacan and Pampanga, which are traditionally Central Luzon’s major growth centers,” said Tolentino.

In addition to these bypass roads, Tolentino discussed other significant transportation projects in the region.

Two projects implemented by the Unified Project Management Office-Roads Management Cluster 1 — the 35.70-kilometer Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEx), which will connect the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) in Tarlac to Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija, and the second phase of improvements to the 24.61-kilometer Plaridel Bypass Road in Bulacan — were featured in an audio-video presentation

The CLLEx project aims to provide fast, safe and reliable transportation from Metro Manila to Central Luzon, promoting socioeconomic development and reducing congestion. It will establish a crucial east-west link in Cagayan Valley’s Expressway network, connecting SCTEx with Cabanatuan and San Jose.

With multiple intersections, the highway will enhance travel options and economic opportunities for commuters and businesses. Improved access and connectivity will boost local economies, while reduced congestion will improve quality of life in Metro Manila. The project also supports regional integration and trade.

The Plaridel Bypass Road is an arterial road that will link the NLEx in Balagtas, Bulacan with the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway in San Rafael, Bulacan. It will bypass the town proper of Plaridel and the urban areas of Pulilan and Baliwag along the existing Maharlika Highway, alleviating traffic congestion at the core urban areas along Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway road section from Plaridel to San Rafael, Bulacan.

Shifting focus to agricultural infrastructure, Tolentino explained that to support President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s push to modernize agricultural infrastructure for food security, the DPWH, through its district engineering offices in the seven provinces of Central Luzon, has been implementing and completing several road projects in food production centers.

“In 2023, a total of 96 farm-to-market and two farm-to-mill road projects were completed and turned over by the DPWH to the community beneficiaries, and these road enhancements were made to ensure that our farmers will be given better access to market centers,” said Tolentino.

The DPWH has collaborated with other government agencies on various projects, including the Department of Education, Department of Tourism, and the Department of Health, among others, resulting in significant accomplishments that benefit students, tourism, public health, and more.

The impact of these projects extends beyond infrastructure improvements, with Tolentino highlighting that projects in Central Luzon alone generated a total of 55,101 jobs in 2023, and as of May 23, 2024, an additional 16,438 jobs have been created through this year’s projects funded in the national budget.

District engineers from the various local DPWH offices in Bulacan, Bataan and Pampanga, along with their respective planning and design section chiefs and construction section chiefs, were also present during the discussion to answer queries specific to their offices.

The Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas was conducted in collaboration with the Presidential Communications Office through the PIA, and was attended by members of the press from Central Luzon, Pampanga and Bataan.

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