The Marcos administration inaugurated the Arterial Road Bypass Project Phase III (ARBP III) Contract Package 4 in Bulacan on Monday, which will reduce the travel time from Balagtas to San Rafael in Bulacan from one hour to just 24 minutes.
In the speech of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. read by Special Assistant to the President Antonio Ernesto Floirendo Lagdameo Jr. during the event held in San Rafael, Bulacan, the inauguration of the bypass road “is a call to action, and a call to work tirelessly towards the “Bagong Pilipinas” vision for a more progressive Philippines.
“The inauguration of ARBP III Contract Package 4 is a call to action, and a call to work tirelessly towards the “Bagong Pilipinas” that we envision—a Philippines that shines brightly on the world stage, a Philippines where every Filipino’s dreams are realized,” the President said in his speech as read by Lagdameo.
“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.”
Infrastructure development, particularly in the transportation sector, is crucial to the sustained progress of the Philippine economy because it improves the movement of people, goods, and services.
It also enhances the efficiency of the logistics and transportation systems and facilitates the journey towards lasting prosperity.
According to the President, the completion of the entire ARBP III will transform the Plaridel Bypass Road, offering a convenient alternative route from Balagtas to San Rafael in Bulacan, with additional two lanes enabling the road to accommodate more motorists, aside from reduced travel time.
With the enhanced road capacity and shortened travel time, the project will vastly improve not only the people’s movement, but also the transport of agricultural products and services, thereby boosting the productivity of the farming industry in Bulacan, the President said, adding that this will also attract more investments, create more employment opportunities, and perpetuate a positive cycle of development in Bulacan province.
The President gave his assurance that the administration remains committed to completing the ARBP III by March 2024, as he vowed to continue addressing all the issues and challenges to hasten construction activities.
At the same time, the President expressed gratitude to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for its support for the critical project and also recognized the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for its relentless efforts in ensuring the completion of ARBP III Contract Package 4.
“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.
The President reported that there are a total of 197 Infrastructure Flagship Projects, which include transportation connectivity projects, in various stages of development under the administration’s 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.
The 22.4-kilometer ARBP III is an infrastructure flagship project (IFP) under the Build-Better-More Program, involving the widening of the existing Plaridel Bypass Road in Bulacan from two lanes to four lanes.
The project, which includes the construction of 10 bridges and three flyovers, is primarily funded through an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan from the JICA.
It has a total project cost of PhP5.26 billion, PhP4.25 billion of which is covered by the JICA Loan Agreement, while the remaining PhP1.01 billion is shouldered by the Philippine government.
Contract Packages 3 and 4 were completed on March 31, 2021, and April 30, 2023, respectively. Contract Package 3 was opened to traffic in July 2021.
Meanwhile, Contract Packages 1 and 2 were 63.09 percent accomplished as of end of September, and are targeted to be completed by March 2024. | PND