San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and the local government of Pangasinan have signed a toll concession and joint venture agreement for the new 76.80-km Pangasinan Link Expressway (PLEX) in the Philippines.
The project, which will begin at the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) exit in Binalonan, is part of SMC’s larger plan to strengthen the road networks in Central and Northern Luzon. It also aims to provide a seamless link to the soon-to-be-launched New Manila International Airport (NMIA) in Bulacan.
PLEX will be built in two phases: Phase 1 will extend 42.76 km from TPLEX to Lingayen, while Phase 2 will extend all the way to Alaminos, Pangasinan.
Phase 1 will be split into three segments, including the first 6.90-km section from Binalonan to Manaoag, followed by an 11.30-km section from Manaoag to Calasiao, and then a 22.17-km section from Calasiao to Lingayen. A 2.39-km spur road will also be built in Calasiao.
“With PLEX connecting to other infrastructure such as TPLEX, which will support access to the NMIA, this project will significantly benefit Pangasinan’s local industries, home-grown products, and agricultural sector. At the same time, the rich history, culture, and cuisine of the province will be even more accessible to more Filipinos,” said Ramon S. Ang, president and CEO of SMC.
“Through PLEX, we shall have a very systematic approach in navigating Pangasinan, creating a roadmap never before imagined possible for our province,” said Ramon V. Guico III, Governor of Pangasinan, adding that Phase 1 of the project would reduce travel time from Binalonan to Lingayen to just 20-30 minutes from the current 90-105 minutes.
Mr V. Guico III further pointed out that “PLEX is one of the most important projects, a game-changer for Pangasinan and for this administration. This is because it is envisioned to reinvent the transportation and enrich the tourism landscape; prioritise accessibility of citizens to major towns and cities, magnify business and livelihood opportunities, multiply economic activity, build more infrastructure, and protect the environment.”
According to SMC, the company will shoulder the construction costs, with zero expense for national or provincial governments.
Image: San Miguel Corporation