THE Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (PamCham) is seeking the assistance of authorities in amending the law which renamed the Gapan-San Fernando-Olongapo Road to Jose Abad Santos Avenue or JASA.

This time, the PamCham wants the 118-kilometer long “avenue” renamed to “highway” under Republic Act No. 9477 signed by former President and now Pampanga Second District Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on May 22, 2007.

The business group noted that by definition, JASA should be amended to JASH as it is a main road intended for travel and commerce between destinations like cities and towns, versus an avenue which is traditionally a straight road with a line of trees or shrubs running along each side, which emphasize arrival at a landscape or architectural feature.

JASA stretches from the City of Gapan and traverses San Isidro and Cabiao in Nueva Ecija; Santa Ana, Arayat, Mexico, City of San Fernando, Bacolor, Guagua, and Lubao in Pampanga; Hermosa and Dinalupihan in Bataan; and finally Olongapo City in Zambales.

Earlier, Department of Public Works and Highways Central Luzon regional director Antonio Molano Jr. shared that JASA is indeed a major highway in Luzon designated as National Route 3 (N3) under the Philippine Highway System.

“When we say avenue, our usual notion is in a rural setting which might not be proper since Central Luzon is fast developing into an urban area. It really is a major highway and not just an avenue considering its length and importance as a vital infrastructure in Central Luzon,” said Molano.

He added renaming it will be suitable as “avenue” is normally accepted for a city or town road only while “highway” is for major roads connecting towns and provinces.

JASA is the most significant toll-free road that connects Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bataan and Zambales.

It traverses through residential areas and big business and commercial establishments like SM City Pampanga, Robinsons Starmills, Mitsubishi Carworld Pampanga, Ford Pampanga, Kia Pampanga, Isuzu Pampanga, St. Nicholas College, Shell gas stations that are located on Northwalk 1 and 2, CLTV 36, S&R Pampanga, and Toyota San Fernando as well as banks and other offices on both sides of the expanded highway. It intersects with the North Luzon Expressway, crosses MacArthur Highway through the Dolores Flyover straight to the Lazatin Flyover heading to Bataan and Zambales. (JTD)