Tuesday, 23 June 2009

PGMA’s infra team inspects SLEX to ensure completion in 2009


MANILA (PNA) -- The Pro-Performance System (PPS) Steering Committee or the Pro-Performance Team composed of leaders from the government, business and private sectors and civil society groups, led by Presidential Management Staff (PMS) Secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr., will inspect Tuesday the ongoing rehabilitation and upgrading works at the Southern Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to fast-track the project’s completion this year.

The Pro-Performance Team will motor from Muntinlupa City to Sto-Tomas, Batangas and inspect on the ground Toll Road 1 (Alabang Viaduct), Toll Road 2 (Sta. Rosa-Calamba) and Toll Road 3 (Calamba-Sto.Tomas).

Joining Esperon in the project inspection are Pro-Performance Team members Ambassador Marita Jimenez of the Asian Development Bank (international development organizations), Ambassador Donald Dee of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (business sector); Caritas Manila Executive Director Fr. Anton Pascual (religious sector), Manila Broadcasting Company President and Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Vice President Ruperto Nicdao Jr. (media), National Youth Commission Chairman Richard Nalupta (youth) and Engineer Joyce Palacol of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) representing PCSO General Manager Rosario Uriarte (national government advocacy).

Esperon said that President Arroyo wants the priority infrastructure projects, or those identified in her State of the Nation Addresses (SONAs), including the SLEX rehabilitation and upgrading project, to be completed this year.

To date, the SLEX project is 76.87 percent accomplished. The Alabang Viaduct was opened to the public late last year, while Toll Roads 2 and 3 are scheduled to be completed in June and December 2009, respectively.

According to Esperon, the Pro-Performance Team embarked on a more intensified project monitoring, including inspections and stakeholder meetings, to ensure the completion of the President’s 72 ongoing priority infrastructure projects and five national programs, or those identified in her State of the Nation Addresses (SONAs).

Last week, the Pro-Performance Team inspected two multi-billion flood control projects – the Agno River Flood Control Project Phase II and the KAMANAVA (Kalookan-Malabon-Navotas-Valenzuela) Flood Control Project. Both projects are nearing completion with 90 percent accomplished.

The SLEX Project, costing P8.5 billion, involves the rehabilitation and upgrading of the existing 28.54-kilometer length of the expressway starting from the Alabang Viaduct up to Calamba in Laguna, and an additional 7.6-kilometer highway to be constructed from Calamba to Sto. Tomas in Batangas that will connect to the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) 2.

Once completed, the SLEX-STAR linkage will provide access to the Port of Batangas and offer a seamless nautical and land highway that will save both time and transport cost for both passengers and freight. It will relieve traffic on the old highway and significantly reduce travel from 46 minutes to 26 minutes when traveling from Sto. Tomas, Batangas to Alabang.

“The extension of the SLEX is a major infrastructure project. It will not only ease and speed up travel to and from Batangas and Laguna but also connect the CALABARZON (Calamba-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon) to the Luzon Urban Beltway and NLAQ through other priority infrastructure projects such as the C5-NLEX-SLEX Link, Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) project and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) project,” said Esperon.

“With this project, new centers of business and commerce in the South are expected to open, which would help decongest Metro Manila,” Esperon said, adding “this would provide our exporters faster and safer access to the Free Port Zone in Subic and the airport in Clark and the NAIA.”

“To make sure that the project is completed on time,” Esperon said, “the Pro-Performance Team is pressing the adoption of a 24-hour work shift and constant monitoring of the rate of accomplishment of the remaining sections of SLEX.”

Other members of the Pre-Performance Team include Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) President Mayor Benjamin Abalos Jr. (local governments) and Jose Rizal University President Vincent Fabella (academe).






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