President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday led the inauguration of the Tarlac – Pangasinan – La Union Toll Expressway (TPLEX).
President Aquino said it will benefit 20,000 motorists plying from Tarlac to Pangasinan and vice versa each day.
The project is a partnership between the government and the private sector through the San Miguel Corp. subsidiary Private Infra Development Corp.
Currently, the TPLEX is operational from Tarlac City to Paniqui, Tarlac. This enables travelers from Tarlac City to Paniqui 30 minutes of travel from the usual one hour and 10 minutes.
With the expected completion of the TPLEX Section 1 next year, travel time from Tarlac City to Rosales, Pangasinan will be cut to 30 minutes from the usual two hours and once the TPLEX is completed, the travel time from Tarlac City to Rosario, La Union will be one hour from the usual three and a half hours.
This, Aquino said, will further enhance tourism and commerce in North and Central Luzon.
“I can’t really help but really dwell on what the future has in store for us here in Central and Northern Luzon where everything becomes that much more accessible, not just to tourism–and we’re targeting about five million tourists this year from the three million baseline,” Aquino said.
“Areas like the Hundred Islands suddenly become that much more accessible. Baguio and the surrounding areas in the CAR suddenly seems like but a short trip away,” he added.
The President said he cannot wait until 2016.
“Tulad sa isang sikat na kanta, magdra-drive ako–bitbit ang kompiyansa na talagang tumutungo na tayo sa katuparan ng ating mga pangarap [Just like in a popular song, I will drive bringing confidence that we are gearing towards the accomplishment of our dreams],” Aquino said.
The Chief Executive also lauded Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson for keeping projects in the agency clean of corruption and up to date.
He said the other members of his Cabinet have also exhibited the same dedication towards public service.
“Projects like these undoubtedly opened up more and more possibilities for our countrymen to engage in gainful productive and progressive livelihood. Government can do all of these at some point in time, but the “some point in time” might take ten generations to accomplish something like this,” Aquino said.