May 2, 2018
Motorists travelling to and from the northern suburbs of Metro Manila can now reap the benefits of the newly-completed arterial road bypass connecting the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) to the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway in Bulacan, for which Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provided a loan amounting to 4.5 billion Japanese yen in 2012.
The second phase of the arterial road bypass project, a development cooperation between the JICA and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) opened recently ahead of its original schedule, and is expected to reduce travel time from Manila to Bulacan by 45 to 50 minutes.
With the completion of the two-lane 24.61km arterial road bypass, about 15, 000 of the vehicles traversing the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway can be diverted to the bypass road, further reducing traffic by 40%.
"This project will help promote seamless mobility of goods and people coming from the provinces in the north and central Luzon to Metro Manila, while helping spread economic opportunities to nearby growth centers," said JICA Senior Representative Tetsuya Yamada.
Meanwhile, to address the rapid growth of the region and its increasing traffic demand, Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii and Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar led the groundbreaking on the same day for the bypass road project's third phase expanding the road to four lanes. The additional two-lane road will ensure the realization of the 45-50 minutes time savings and is expected to ease the traffic congestion in Metro Manila and its adjoining areas.
At the event, the Japanese government reiterated its support to the Philippines' Build Build Build agenda to help sustain the Philippines' economic resurgence.
The Philippine Government and JICA signed the 9.399 billion yen loan agreement for the implementation of the Arterial Road Bypass Project, Phase III in February 2018.
Aside from the arterial road bypass project, JICA is also supporting the Philippine government through the construction of the 38-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) and the 25-kilometer Metro Manila Subway connecting Mindanao Avenue to FTI in the south to help address traffic gridlock.