TPLEX extension to boost growth in N. Luzon

By Anna Leah Gonzales

June 4, 2023, 11:58 am

<p>Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway <em>(Courtesy of DOTr Facebook)</em></p>

Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (Courtesy of DOTr Facebook)

MANILA – The approval of the PHP23.4-billion 59.4-kilometer Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) extension project will further spur economic development in Northern Luzon, the Department of Finance (DOF) said. 
“The TPLEX Extension Project’s swift approval demonstrates the President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. administration’s resolve to cut bureaucratic red tape and streamline government processes. This is critical to accelerating much-needed investments in infrastructure,” Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said in a statement over the weekend. 
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board chaired by President Marcos approved on Friday the TPLEX extension project. 
The evaluation and approval process for the project is the fastest recorded for a public-private partnership (PPP) proposal. 
The proposal was submitted to the Investment Coordination Committee on March 23 and subsequently elevated to the NEDA Board. 
The NEDA Board gave the Department of Public Works and Highways permission to commence negotiations with the project’s original proponent. 
To ensure a thorough and fair evaluation process, the DOF introduced provisions to the parameters, terms, and conditions to limit government contingent liabilities in case of concessionaire default. 
The TPLEX extension project is expected to cut the travel time from Rosario to San Juan, La Union province from 96 minutes to 42 minutes. 
The first segment spanning Rosario to Tubao is estimated to be operational by 2026, while the entire project is to be completed by 2028. 
“The government is committed to strengthening and facilitating PPPs. This requires a well-functioning and responsive policy framework, underpinned by transparency and accountability,” Diokno said. 
The 89.31-kilometer TPLEX that spans Tarlac City, Tarlac to Rosario, La Union was completed in 2020. (PNA)