When San Miguel Corporation’s Ramon Ang was interviewed on social media, he emphasized the importance of good road networks as one of the keys of economic development. He visions road accessibility as one of the vital ingredients for growth of local government units and eventually the national government. He is realizing his visions now through the construction of infrastructures such as expressways among others.
Recently, the Toll Regulatory Board has approved the construction of the expressway that will be directly linked to the New Manila International Airport (NMIA) in Bulakan, Bulacan. The construction of the NMIA is in progress.
The TRB has already approved a Supplementary Toll Operating Agreement with San Miguel Corporation for the operation of the Northern Access Link Expressway or NALEx. Once completed, its segment 1 shall be linked to the Skyway Stage 3 in Balintawak going to the NMIA.
The Segment 2 meanwhile shall link the said airport to Tarlac City where the existing Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) is located. The 117 kilometer segment of the NALEx shall pass through the municipalities in Bulacan and Pampanga. As per plan, the said expressway shall be constructed along Masantol town and some coastal barangays of the Municipality Macabebe.
The NALEx, according to 4th District Representative Anna York Bondoc, shall spur development not only in Masantol town but also to coastal municipalities and the whole province as well. The said two municipalities in Pampanga are interior towns and once the said road development has been realized, they will be opened to traffic, business, tourism and progress.
The said coastal towns rely mostly on fishing for livelihood. Because of their location, many fisher folks do not have easy access for their catch to reach other municipalities or provinces. Providing them with better road access is providing them more markets to sell their yield.
While the said two municipalities are expected to benefit immensely from the expressway project, it shall likewise benefit other towns in the province because they shall be provided with another road access and to top it all, it shall be an access to an international airport.
With the opening of another provincial gateway from an airport, business and tourism shall also be boosted as it shall provide another entry and exit point aside from Clark, without passing through the Metro Manila where the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is located. In addition, it shall likewise provide access to the northern Luzon provinces since the NALEx shall be connected with the TPLEx.
The NALEx is expected to be completed by year 2026, in time for the opening of the NMIA. Indeed, the expressway and the airport shall complement the continuous growth and development of Pampanga and Central Luzon.
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