Aquino cites ‘significant’ benefits of road projects linking NLEX, SKEX on country’s economy

May 23, 2012 9:49 pm 

MANILA, May 23 — President Benigno S. Aquino III cited the significant benefits that the two planned road projects linking the northern and southern Luzon expressways will have on the country’s economy, saying the projects, once completed, would greatly ease the uninterrupted transport of goods, services and people to and from their intended destinations, decongest major thoroughfares and lessen pollution.

In a briefing on the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) connector projects in Malacañang on Wednesday, the President said the Filipino people stood to gain from the benefits of these road projects.

The road projects are the NLEX-SLEX Connector of the Metro Pacific Investment Corp. and the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 (MMSS3)project of the San Miguel Corp.

Both projects aim to construct elevated toll roads connecting NLEx and SLEx, under the public-private partnership (PPP) projects of the government.

The NLEX-SLEX connector is a P21-billion "connector road" consisting of a 13.4-kilometer, four-lane elevated expressway over the existing Philippine National Railway system that runs from Caloocan City to Makati City.

The MMSS3, meanwhile, proposes a P24-billion 14-kilometer, six-lane tollway with exits in Manila, Aurora Boulevard, E. Rodriguez Ave., Quezon Boulevard, Sgt. Rivera and the Balintawak area.

The projects are expected to help decongest EDSA and provide better access to Manila’s ports.

President Aquino said manufacturing business in both the northern and southern parts of the country would be able to deliver their goods uninterrupted (because of an existing truck ban in Metro Manila), in a shorter amount of time and thus increase savings which he said, could be used to hire more workers.

“Bottom line, currently when you have to ship all of these and you go by boats — and if it’s a Manila port — you have to contend with traversing EDSA and that adds a significant amount of travel time, it adds pressure to your just-in-time deliveries and it increases also ‘yung pollution quotient within the NCR. So this (road projects) facilitates the whole process,” the President said.

“So it facilitates the movement of goods, services and people, then it also enhances the connectivity between NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) and Clark (International Airport). And the expansion plans for our gateways will involve Clark to a large degree. So that makes it even more feasible,” he said.

The President also said that the tourism industry stood to gain from the construction of these road projects as tourist spots in northern and southern Luzon would soon be easily accessible.

“Syempre ‘yung tourism is greatly enhanced as well …by 2016 I assume I’ll be in Tarlac a lot and if I want to go to a beach, medyo biglang naging very feasible to go to Batangas or Mindoro or, ‘di ba, all of these other areas—or even taking flights to Boracay or Palawan,” the President said. (PNA) RMA/PCOO/ssc

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