Saturday July 21, 2018

Improvements of NLEX, SCTEX drive countryside growth

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), the holding company of North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), is undertaking a massive enhancement program aimed to boost and accelerate Pampanga’s economic growth and development, MPTC President and CEO Rodrigo Franco announced.

Franco spoke during the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (PamCham)’s 58th General Membership Meeting on Tuesday, November 21, at the LausGroup Event Centre, where he shared updates on the corporation’s various infrastructure projects.

He highlighted that the holding firm is pioneering several developments like expansion of roads and toll plazas, construction of new exits, and improvement of interchanges, to improve portions of its expressways in the province and drive countryside growth forward.

“MPTC has always been PamCham’s partner for countryside development. The province remains as one of our most important constituents, and through the years has remained close to our heart,” he said.

“It is the same reason why we really put much effort and resources to improve the service capacity of our expressways here. In fact, we have invested billions of pesos for our enhancement program for the convenience and safety of our motorists in the province and of the region,” he added.

Franco furthered that MPTC’s newly-completed project, the San Fernando Interchange, is a testament that the corporation is committed to address traffic congestion in the province.

“The issue of traffic congestion at the San Fernando Interchange was raised to us by PamCham. We realized that the traffic volume has increased far than our original projections, so we widened the interchange bridge and roadways from 2x2 lanes to 2x4,” he relayed.

Aside from the expansion, existing east and west rotundas were also converted to signalized intersections to eliminate gridlocks at the said interchange, Franco added.

Moreover, improvements of the Magalang Exit Ramp (NLEx) and Mabiga Interchange are also in full swing.

“We are currently constructing a right-turning exit ramp to Mabalacat-Magalang road, to utilize the Sta. Ines Interchange as a full interchange. This will enhance traffic flow in the interchange due to the provision of direct access for vehicles bound to Magalang, coming from NLEX, thus eliminating traffic conflicts at the interchange,” he noted.

“The Mabiga Interchange improvement, on the other hand, is already 86 percent completed. We are constructing toll plazas and new entry and exit ramps at the interchange to utilize Mabiga as a full diamond interchange,” he continued.

Aside from the three developments, Franco said that MPTC is pioneering other big-ticket projects that will also spur growth in the province.

“Another much-anticipated project of MPTC in the province is the NLEx Phase 3 project amounting to over P12 billion. We are going to build a 37-kilometer, 4 lane divided expressway that will connect Sto. Tomas, Pampanga to Dinalupihan, Bataan. When the project is approved by DPWH, the construction will start in 2019,” he shared.

Furthermore, while the NLEx Harbor Link Segment 10 is not part of Pampanga, Franco emphasized that it will also benefit the business community in the province.

“This project, targeted to be completed by the first quarter of 2018, will benefit those bringing their cargoes to the port area,” he said.

The NLEx Harbor Link Segment 10 is envisioned to support the government’s efforts to decongest Metro Manila by boosting Central Luzon with infrastructure that enable more efficient and faster transport of good and services

Aside from the road infrastructure projects, Franco announced that the company has also taken its speed management to the next level with the use of Speed System CCTV at the NLEx-SCTEx to enhance traffic safety and control.

Unlike the speed gun, the Speed System CCTV performs automatic speed profiling, plate number identification, and photo printing.

“Providing motorists with a travel experience that keeps getting better has always been a top priority for MPTC,” Franco noted.

For his part, PamCham Chairman Emeritus Levy P. Laus said that Franco’s timely update is beneficial to the business community and the people of Pampanga.

“Mr. Franco has relayed a very good insight of what is happening now and what will the future be in terms of road infrastructure. It is really helpful to us, the business sector, as it gives us more confidence that the province will continue to grow through seamless road networks and infrastructures,” he said.

For the future generation

Laus shared that PamCham is committed to mold the younger generation to become “future heirs of business community of Pampanga,” through the chamber’s Community Succession Planning program.

“This is our way of upholding our corporate social responsibility which targets our youth. As early as now, we are engaging young students by mentoring them and letting them join informative gatherings like our GMM. We believe that this is one way to encourage the development of new leaders of the community,” Laus said.

During the meeting, over 52 Grade 12 students from Systems Plus Computer College were sponsored by PamCham members.

“We have been regularly invited by PamCham to join their General Membership Meeting. In behalf of our school, we would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to the whole chamber. We really are very overwhelmed because our students greatly benefit from the talk of our speakers,” Systems Plus Computer College Work Immersion Focal Person Millie Manguerra said.