The Arterial Road Bypass Project Phase III (ARBP III) contract package 4 was inaugurated in Bulacan province on Monday, reducing the travel time between Balagtas and San Rafael towns from one hour to just 24 minutes. The 7.64-kilometer bypass road symbolizes 'a call to action, and a call to work tirelessly towards the 'Bagong Pilipinas' vision for a more progressive Philippines,' according to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., his speech read by Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo Jr. 'A Philippines that shines brightly on the world stage, a Philippines where every Filipino's dreams are realized,' the President said. 'This project is an important step towards the realization of our dream of a better Philippines that is filled with hope, brimming with optimism, and teeming with boundless opportunities.' The ARBP III, with a total length of 23 kms, offers a convenient alternative route from Balagtas to San Rafael and vastly improves transport of agricultural products and services from Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Cagayan Valley Region to Metro Manila. There are now four lanes from two, while 10 bridges and three flyovers will also be constructed. The President assured the administration is committed to complete all ARBP III works by March 2024. At the same time, the President expressed gratitude to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for its support and recognized the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for its relentless efforts to finish the project. 'JICA has long been a steadfast partner in our journey to improve our infrastructure, and we hope for continued collaboration in our future endeavors,' Marcos said. Of the total project cost of PHP5.26 billion, the JICA loan agreement shouldered PHP4.25 billion. DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan said the bypass road will further ease the flow of traffic for cargo, travelers, and motorists from the northern part of Bulacan exiting the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). "The additional lanes provided will address traffic congestion and enhance economic activities of the entire province of Bulacan," Bonoan said. JICA chief representative to the Philippines Sakamoto Takema said they will continue to invest in big-ticket infrastructure projects, including railways, ports, and airports. "JICA has been working on the development of the road network here in Bulacan and we invested billions of pesos in three phases of this arterial road bypass project," he said. The President said there are 197 infrastructure flagship projects, which include transportation connectivity projects, in various stages of development under the Build Better More program. Marcos urged the DPWH to ensure the timely completion of all major projects, particularly those outside Metro Manila, to bolster regional development.
Source: Philippines News Agency