The government will carry out the 1,200-kilometer Luzon Spine Expressway Network Program to effectively connect and significantly reduce the travel time between the Ilocos and Bicol regions, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Monday.
“Our road network plans must link not only our three major islands, but all prospective sites of economic development,” President Marcos said during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
“The 1,200-kilometer Luzon Spine Expressway Network Program will effectively connect Ilocos to Bicol from 20 hours to just nine hours of travel.”
The underlying logic to the administration’s infrastructure development is economic efficiency, opening up all gateways to mobilize goods and services at less cost and in less time, with the aim of driving the economy forward.
The President reported that as of June this year, the government has constructed, maintained, and upgraded more than 4,000 kilometers of roads and around 500 bridges across the country.
“Under the Mega-Bridge Program, 12 bridges totaling 90 kilometers will be constructed, connecting islands and areas separated by waters,” he said.
The program includes the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge and the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges, each spanning 32 kilometers, and the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Bridge.
According to the President, the administration also initiated several railway projects, with a total length of more than 1,000 kilometers, with the southern leg of the North-South Commuter Railway System now in full swing. This will shorten the travel from Pampanga to Laguna from 4 hours to just 2
“Inter-modal connectivity will also be a primary consideration. Roads, bridges and mass transport systems will be interconnected. This network will provide access and passage to vital and bustling economic markets, such as agriculture hubs, tourism sites, and key business districts,” he pointed out.
With the passage of the Maharlika Investment Fund law, the nation’s high-priority projects can now tap the newly established fund for strategic financing without the added debt burden, he noted.
The President also mentioned 123 new infrastructure projects under the Build-Better-More program. PND