By Myla Iglesias
The Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) is evaluating the unsolicited proposal of San Miguel Corp (SMC) to extend the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) from Rosario to San Juan, La Union for P23.9 billion.
DPWH received the proposal of SMC Infrastructure unit San Miguel Holdings Corp. (SMHC) last February.
“DPWH acknowledges the submission, (and is) subject for evaluation as to completeness,” the agency said.
Mark Villar, DPWH secretary, said SMC is in the process of completing the requirements among them the feasibility study and the source of funding.
DPWH’s move to award the original proponent status (OPS) would depend on how soon the SMC will complete the requirements.
The project involves a 59.4-kilometer four-lane toll road which will start from the last exit of the TPLEX in Rosario, La Union and will terminate in San Juan, La Union.
The project is divided into three segments; Segment 1 from Rosario to Tubao; Segment 2 from Tubao to Naguilian and Segment 3, Naguilian to San Juan.
The TPLEX extension aims to promote the development of Northern Luzon and facilitate its connectivity to Central Luzon and Metro Manila through high speed mobility and secured access.
SMC has opened the 10.10-km segment of TPLEX from Binalonan to Pozorrubio towns in Pangasinan last December.
TPLEX’s last section – the 10.92-km stretch from Pozorrubio, Pangasinan to Rosario, La Union -- is set for completion in June 2019.
Upon full completion, TPLEX would reduce travel time from Tarlac to Rosario, La Union from 3.5 hours to just an hour, benefitting an average of 20,000 vehicles per day,
SMC has also submitted a proposal to extend further the TPLEX from Rosario, La Union to Ilocos provinces, adding another 100 kms. to the expressway.
SMC also operates Skyway, NAIA expressway, South Luzon Expressway and Southern Tagalog Arterial Road.