The Regional Project Monitoring Committees (RPMC) of CALABARZON and Bicol Region conducted a joint inspection of three major inter-regional connectivity projects. Joining the RPMCs in the project briefing and field inspection were the Philippine National Railways (PNR), Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) and Department of Public Works and Highways – Public Private Partnership Services (DPWH-PPP) from April 15-17.
The first project, the PNR South Long Haul Project, costing PhP175 Billion will be a 592-km railway from Sucat to Legazpi to Matnog with a Batangas branch line from Calamba Station going to Batangas Port. The project will use 70 percent of the existing PNR right-of-way. The RPMC members noted, that the proposed stations have poor connectivity with major thoroughfares and recommended to adopt a transit-oriented development of the stations to promote intermodal and multi-modal transportation.
The second project, the South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 4 (SLEX-TR4), a four-lane 66.74-km toll road from Sto. Tomas City, Batangas to Mayao, Lucena City, costing PhP13.1 billion is expected to be completed by 2022. The RPMCs were concerned that the SLEX-TR4 may have possible conflicts in the alignment and elevation of the PNR-SLH. They recommended for PNR to meet with TRB and DPWH-PPP Service to harmonize the alignments of the SLEX-TR4, PNR-SLH and the Quezon-Bicol Expressway (QueBEx).
The third project, the QueBEx, is a 220-km road from Pagbilao, Quezon to the Maharlika Highway in San Fernando, Camarines Sur. The project’s feasibility study is on-going. Again, the RPMC members raised the issue on possible conflicts in the alignment and elevation of the PNR-SLH Project. The contractor was asked to confirm the starting point of QueBEx to ensure that it connects with the SLEX-TR4.
The three major transport projects are expected to decrease travel time and promote economic development in CALABARZON and Bicol regions.
Ray Michael Kevin H. Abuso, NEDA Region IV-A | April 24, 2019