Almost four years after President Rodrigo Duterte launched its “Build, Build, Build” program, Philippine government’s most ambitious infrastructure plan — computer-generated images which were once used to present a vision are turning into actual roads and bridges.
According to Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, since July 2016, a total of 26,494 kilometers of roads and 5,555 bridges have been completed.
Critics have said it cannot be done and yet the output of 6.5 million workers involved in the “Build, Build, Build” program have proved them otherwise.
Another misconception was that most projects are only situated in Metro Manila or are operated under the modality of public private partnership. This is far from the truth. In fact, less than five percent of the “Build, Build, Build” projects charge toll or operate under a concession agreement.
To correct this misinformation, my column for the next few weeks would take you to at least 10 big ticket projects in all 17 regions.
Today, we’ll explore the northwestern section of Luzon — Region 1, or Ilocos Region, which is composed of four provinces: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan.
- Candon City Bypass Road
The 7.3-kilometer Candon City Bypass Road traverses the eastern side of the city to decongest the Manila North Road and improve the connectivity of Manila to Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte and Abra. Its completion reduced the travel time from Sta. Lucia in Ilocos Sur to Santiago from 40 minutes to only 20 minutes. It is expected to benefit 13,061 motorists per day.
- Laoag City Bypass Road
The 7.9-kilometer Laoag City Bypass Road starts at Barangay Buttong in Laoag City and ends in Barangay Pasiocan in Ilocos Norte. It includes the construction of an 805- meter Laoag bridge and a 129-meter Casili bridge. When completed, travel time from Laoag to Ilocos Norte will be reduced from 45 minutes to only 10 minutes.
- Urdaneta Bypass Road
Heading to Pangasinan to visit the Manaoag Church and the Hundred Islands of Alaminos? The 7.17-kilometer Urdaneta City Bypass Road traverses eight barangays namely Nancayasan, Sto. Domingo, Sta. Lucia, Nancamaliran East, Mabanogbog, San Vicente, Camantiles, and Anonas. It serves as an alternate route to the existing Manila North Road, Urdaneta-Dagupan Road, Urdaneta-Manaoag Road, and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La-Union Expressway. Now, travel time from Villasis to Binalonan has been reduced from one hour to only 30 minutes.
- Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway
Whether you’re surfing in San Juan or cliff-diving in Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel or hanging by the kitchen bar of Flotsam & Jetsam, the completion of the 89.31-kilometer TPLEX has made your travel more efficient by almost 50 percent. Now, travel time from Manila to Baguio has been reduced to only three hours.
- Bantay – San Ildefonso Bypass Road
Going to Vigan? The 10.97-kilometer Bantay-San Ildefonso Bypass Road starts at the junction of the Manila North Road from Barangay Taleb in the municipality of Bantay through the barangays of Tay-ac, Bongro, Binongan, Sto. Domingo, Arnap, Belen, Bungro and Poblacion East at San Ildefonso.
When completed, it will reduce travel time from Bantay to San Ildefonso from one hour to only 15 to 20 minutes.
- Laoag-Ilocos Norte Connector
Heading to the Paoay Sand Dunes or Paoay Lake? Check out the 3.6-kilometer Laoag-Ilocos Norte Connector, which traverses Darayday in Laoag City and San Nicolas in Ilocos Norte.
- Daang Kalikasan
Up for some soul searching against the scenic mountain range? The 19.89-kilometer Daang Kalikasan Road will reduce the travel time from Mangatarem in Pangasinan to Sta. Cruz in Zambales from two hours and 30 minutes to only one hour.
- Daang Katutubo
Want to explore the Ylang ylang plantation? Check out the 27.55-kilometer Daang Katutubo Road, which serves as an access road to the Mapita Tribal Community and the view deck in Nayong Aguilar.
- Lingayen Bypass Road
The 6.2-kilometer Lingayen Bypass Road starts at the intersection of Pangasinan-Zambales Road and Lingayen Labrador Diversion Road and traverses along Lingayen proper to Barangay Poblacion in Binmaley. The project is expected to benefit 18,492 motorists every day.
- Apayao-Ilocos Norte Road
The 65.580-kilometer Apayao-Ilocos Norte Road connects the towns of Conner, Kabugao, and Calanasan in Apayao to the municipality of Solsona and city of Laoag in Ilocos Norte. It serves as an alternate route to motorists coming from the Cordillera Administrative Region going to Laoag International Airport and the Manila North Road in Ilocos Region.