DPWH Sec. Villar gives infra updates at pre-SONA forum

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar gave updates about the country’s infrastructure development during the first Pre-State of the Nation Address (pre-SONA) forum held earlier today, July 8.

During the virtual forum, entitled “Regaining Momentum, Accelerating Recovery in a Post COVID-19 World,” Villar reported the progress of current infrastructure projects, in behalf of the cabinet’s infrastructure cluster.

“We have exceeded our infrastructure spending goal to reach more than five percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Funded on our robust pipeline of projects are the Build Build Build programs guided by a strategic master plan and roadmap,” Villar states.

He reported the following infrastructure and road projects in various levels of completion:

  • 1,950 kms of roads completed under Tourism Road Infrastructure Program (TRIP)
  • 1,450 kms of farm to market roads completed under Agri-Infrastructure Support Program
  • 437 kms of completed roads leading to industries and trade corridors
  • P802B for the 1,066 kilometers of the Philippine Standard Highway Network Program
  • 905 kms of the Luzon Spine Expressway Network Program that will cut travel time from Ilocos to Bicol from 20 hours to nine hours
  • full completion of 89.21-km Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX)
  • 30-km Central Luzon Link Expressway Phase 1 from Tarlac to Cabanatuan, 85 percent complete
  • ongoing construction of 32.6-km Southeast Metro Manila Expressway, C6 Phase 1 from FTI Taguig to Batasan, Quezon City
  • completion of NLEX Harbor Link C3-R10 Section
  • 8-km, four-lane NLEX-SLEX Connector Road, to be completed later this year
  • construction of 18.83-km Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, 83 percent complete
  • Alabang-Sucat Skyway connection and ramp extension
  • completion of 7.7-km Manila Cavite Toll Expressway, C5 South Link
  • 45.29-km Cavite Laguna Expressway, Laguna section operational
  • construction on-going for 66.74-km SLEX-TR4
  • feasibility study done for 220-km Quezon-Bicol Expressway
  • construction on-going for the 15.21-km Camarines Sur Expressway

“The government is also enhancing the connectivity of these expressways to national and local roads through the construction of interchanges and access roads,” Villar adds.

Aside from these projects, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) chief revealed that there are 23,657 kilometers of roads that were constructed, maintained, widened, upgraded and rehabilitated as of May 2020. To improve pedestrian infrastructure, the DPWH reports bike lanes along these roads:

  • three-meter wide bike lane at Laguna Lake highway
  • protected bike lanes at Bacolod-Negros Occidental economic highway
  • four-meter wide bike lane at Leyte Tide Embankment (Section 4-Tacloban-Palo)
  • bike lane provision at the 18.21km Davao City coastal road

According to the report, new bridges are also in the works, namely; the Sta. Monica-Lawton bridge, Binondo-Intramuros bridge, Estrella-Pantaleon bridge, and the Inter Island Linkage Mega Bridge program with eight vital bridges crossing major waterways.

For train travel, the Philippine National Railway Program aims to complete a total of 1,900 kilometers of rail, targeted to be built by 2022 and beyond through six on-going railway projects. This includes the 36-km Metro Manila Subway from Quezon City to NAIA 3, the 22-km MRT 7 from Quezon City to San Jose del Monte Bulacan, the current rehab of MRT 3, LRT 1 Cavite Extension and LRT 2 East Extension. A common station will connect four of Metro’s rail lines.

Presented by the economic and infrastructure clusters of the administration’s cabinet, the virtual forum focused on the government’s recovery and resilience plans amid the coronavirus crisis.

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