The Japanese government has lauded the opening of the Arterial Road Bypass Project or Plaridel Bypass Project Phase III in Bulacan, which is intended to ease traffic congestion and spur economic growth in Central Luzon.
Japan Embassy Minister for Economic Affairs Nakata Masahiro and Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Emil Sadain inaugurated the the 2.2-kilometer widened portion of the Plaridel Bypass Road on Friday.
Funded by the Overseas Development Assistance under the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Y9.399 billion project is the third phase of a road project bypassing the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway that also covered the construction of two additional lanes of the Angat Bridge and widening of underpass, drainage, and other related works.
Plaridel Bypass is a new alternative route traversing the municipalities of Balagtas, Guiguinto, Plaridel, Bustos and San Rafael in Bulacan.
“Completion of this widening project is expected to bring further development to Bulacan and neighboring provinces by promoting industrialization and increased inflow of tourists,” the Japanese Embassy said, in the statement.
JICA Philippines Chief Representative Azukizawa Eigo stressed that “transportation infrastructure plays an important role in the economic recovery of the Philippines from the pandemic encouraging much-needed investments and jobs.”
Eigo added that JICA is pleased to have shared Japanese skills and know-how in the construction of the road projects.
With the previous completion of the first two lanes of Plaridel Bypass, it shortened the travel time to and from North Luzon Expressway via a new interchange in Barangay Burol, Balagtas to the Philippines-Japan Friendship Highway in Barangay Maasim, San Rafael, Bulacan to just 30 minutes.
According to JICA, ARBP III will help divert some 15,000 vehicles from Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway and help ensure that agricultural products and other commodities from Central Luzon reach other areas.
The entire ARBP stretches over 24.61 kilometers, of which the first two phases were completed in 2012 and 2018. The third phase is composed of three flyovers, 10 bridges, and additional lanes.
The JICA official said transportation infrastructure can help sustain Philippine economic growth and improve the delivery of social services in the long-term as they also support the improvement, maintenance as well as capacity building to ensure quality infrastructure building.
JICA is also supporting eight other roads and bridges projects under the Philippines’ Build Build Build agenda.