MANILA, Philippines — Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is setting its sights on extending the now fully completed 89.21-kilometer Tarlac- Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) as part of its commitment to pursue major infrastructure investments.
SMC and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) formally opened yesterday the final section of the TPLEX, completing the four-lane toll road project that will speed up travel to and from Northern Luzon provinces, and help significantly boost economic activity in the region.
“Our next goal now is to extend TPLEX all the way to San Juan. We look forward to the continued support of our national and local governments for this project, which will bring even more growth to the region,” SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said.
SMC has received original proponent status for its proposed four-lane 59-km project that will extend the TPLEX from Rosario, La Union to San Juan, La Union.
The opening of the final 11-km segment of the TPLEX will reduce travel time from Tarlac to Rosario to just one hour from three-and-a-half hours, and Metro Manila-to-Baguio from six hours to just three-and-a-half hours.
In total, the TPLEX now has 10 interchanges and 11 toll plazas, namely: Tarlac City, Victoria, Pura, Ramos, Anao, in Tarlac; Carmen, Urdaneta, Binalonan, Pozorrubio, Sison in Pangasinan, and Rosario, La Union.
Ang said the completion of the TPLEX, along with its commitment to continue to invest in major infrastructure projects, is SMC’s contribution to the efforts of the government’s economic team to boost the economy.
“The economy came to a grinding halt because of the pandemic, and among the most affected were our farmers, as well as small businesses such as restaurants, hotels, stores, that also rely on tourism. By not scaling back on investments in infrastructure, we will be able to create more jobs, keep the flow of goods and services moving, and pave the way for more local tourism for the long-term,” Ang said.
“In the face of a global pandemic that has also greatly affected our economy and the livelihoods of many Filipinos, we at SMC remain committed to continuing our investments in growth-generating and job-creating projects that will help build the resilience of our people,” he said.
With the Pozzurubio-Rosario TPLEX section finished, SMC said the completion of its other big-ticket projects like the Skyway 3, Skyway Extension, Skyway 4, MRT-7, and a new unit of Masinloc Power Plant are also in the pipeline.
SMC likewise reiterated its commitment to push through with the development of the P735-billion Manila International Airport project in Bulakan, Bulacan which seeks to solve perennial congestion problems at the NAIA.