Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno says the approval of the 59.4-kilometer Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEX) extension project plays a critical role in the government’s drive of accelerating much-needed investments in infrastructure.
The P23.4-billion project will cut the travel time from Rosario to San Juan from 96 minutes to 42 minutes, which will spur the creation of new growth centers in the Ilocos Region.
On Friday, the National Economic and Development Authority Board approved the TPLEX extension project.
TPLEX extension project to spur growth—Diokno
At a glance
The Department of Finance (DOF) said the P23.4 billion Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEX) extension, once completed, would spur economic development in northern Luzon.
Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said the approval of the 59.4-kilometer TPLEX extension project plays a critical role in the government’s drive of accelerating much-needed investments in infrastructure.
“The TPLEX Extension Project’s swift approval demonstrates the PBBM [President Bong Bong Marcos] administration’s resolve to cut bureaucratic red tape and streamline government processes,” Diokno said in a statement on Saturday, June 3 following the project approval by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board on Friday, June 2. .
“This is critical to accelerating much-needed investments in infrastructure,” he added.
Diokno said the entire evaluation and approval process for the TPLEX extension project is the fastest approval for a PPP proposal.
The proposal was submitted to the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) last March 23, 2023 and then elevated to the NEDA Board on June 2, 2023, where it was approved.
The NEDA Board gave the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) permission to commence negotiations with the project’s original proponent.
To ensure a thorough and fair evaluation process, the DOF introduced provisions to the parameters, terms, and conditions to limit government contingent liabilities in case of concessionaire default.
The P23.4-billion project will cut the travel time from Rosario to San Juan from 96 minutes to 42 minutes, spur the creation of new growth centers in the Ilocos Region, and bring about economic development along the expressway.
The first segment spanning Rosario to Tubao, La Union is estimated to be operational by 2026, while the entire project is to be completed by 2028.
“The government is committed to strengthening and facilitating PPPs. This requires a well-functioning and responsive policy framework, underpinned by transparency and accountability,” Diokno said.
The Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) was revised within President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s first 100 days in office to streamline approval processes and incorporate international best practices.
Furthermore, the ICC Guidelines on PPP approvals and the Joint Venture Guidelines were revised to incorporate the changes from the BOT Law IRR.
To further speed up infrastructure development in the country, the DOF is pushing for the passage of the proposed PPP Act, which is a priority bill of the PBBM administration and is currently pending in the Senate.