Friday, 1 March 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Friday, March 1, 2013

President Aquino leads inaugural drive-through of Plaridel Bypass Road Project in Bustos, Bulacan

BUSTOS, Bulacan) President Benigno S. Aquino III led the inaugural drive-through to formally open the Plaridel Bypass Road project which was constructed to decongest the traffic at the Pan-Philippine Highway ((PPH) by 40 percent.

In a simple ceremony held in Barangay Malamig, Bustos, Bulacan on Friday the Chief Executive on board an open-type pick up was joined by Public Works and Highways (DPWH) staff led by Undersecretary Alfredo G. Tolentino and other local officials.

The new bypass road, constructed by the DPWH, is funded under a loan agreement between the Philippines and Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The Plaridel Bypass Road Project, as envisioned, involves a total length of 24.61 km of road, 2.40 km access road and 10 bridges. The road project traverses the municipalities of Balagtas, Guiguinto, Plaridel, Bustos and San Rafael in Bulacan.

The project is part of the upgrading of the Inter-Urban Highway System along the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway (PHJL) that will ease the serious traffic congestion in the vicinity of core urban areas along the Maharlika Highway leading to the Cagayan Valley Road in Bulacan.

The project is being implemented in two phases with the first involving the construction of contract packages I and II starting from North Luzon Expressway via a new interchange in barangay Burol, Balagtas town.

The First Phase is composed of 14.65km road, 2.40km access road, and seven bridges that were completed by November 25, 2012 under the JICA Loan No. PH-P236.

The DPWH had started the procurement process for the implementation of the Second Phase, composed of Contract Package 3 with a length of 2.22 km and 1.12 km bridge, spanning Angat River; and Contract Package 4 with a length of 7.74 km under the JICA Loan No. PH-250 signed in March 2012.

The completion of the bypass road from Burol, Balagtas to San Rafael, will save travel time of about 45 to 50 minutes while the travel distance will be shortened by about five kilometers. About 15,000 vehicles will be diverted to the Plaridel Bypass, decongesting the traffic at PPH by 40%.

With the completion of Contract Project II, the travel time will be reduced to about 20-23 minutes using the completed sections of the bypass road (CP 1 & CP II) with the Alejo Santos Road as access to Pan-Philippine Highway.The towns of Balagtas, Bustos, Baliuag, Pandi, Plaridel, San Rafael and Angat will benefit from the project.

The opening to traffic of the completed Phase I of Plaridel Bypass (CP I and CP II) eases up the congested traffic at Plaridel town section of Pan-Philippine Highway and creating an alternative route to Angat, Balagtas town proper and Pandi, Bulacan (bypassing Sta. Maria town via Bocaue exit). PND (js)

President Aquino leads inauguration of Bocaue Bridge

President Benigno Aquino III on Friday formally opened the Bocaue Bridge aimed at easing the traffic congestion in the area.

The President led the unveiling of the marker and the inaugural drive-through that officially opens the bridge located along MacArthur Highway in Barangay BiƱang 2nd, Bocaue, Bulacan.

The formerly two-lane bridge was expanded into four lanes, which aims to ensure safety and traffic convenience among motorists of the MacArthur Highway formerly known as the Manila North Road.

During a project briefing, Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Alfredo Tolentino said the agency was able to save P4 million for the project due to transparency and the "tuwid na daan" policy of the Aquino administration. The approved budget cost for the project was P61.5 million while the total contract cost was only P57.4 million.

The bridge widening and upgrading is part of the overall improvement of the highway to address critical bottlenecks to cope with the fast growing economic activities in the region.

Tolentino also briefed the President regarding the Plaridel Bypass Road Project which involves a total length of 24.61 kilometer of road, 2.40 kilometer access road and 10 bridges.

The DPWH already finished the first phase of the project, which involves the construction of contract packages 1 and 2 starting from the North Luzon Expressway in a new interchange at Barangay Burol, town of Balagtas with a length of 14.65 kilometers, a 2.40 kilometer access road and seven bridges.

Tolentino said the DPWH was able to save P163 million for the project that aims to ease traffic congestion in urban areas along the Maharlika Highway or the Cagayan Valley road in Bulacan.

“More or less po mga 40 percent ng traffic dito madi-divert na po ngayon natin dito sa Plaridel Bypass,” he said.

He said bidding for the second phase of the project is set on March 5 and it is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016.

The second phase of the project is composed of a 10 kilometer road and a 1.12 kilometer bridge.

The entire road project traverses the municipalities of Balagtas, Guiguinto, Plaridel, Bustos and San Rafael in Bulacan. PND (jb)

Aquino welcomes officials of Energy Development Corporation and Danish Vestas Wind Systems

President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed top officials of the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and Danish manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems who expressed support for the government's priority agenda in ensuring a reliable energy supply for the country in a simple ceremony in Malacanang on Friday.

EDC chairman and chief executive officer Federico Lopez and Vestas president and chief executive officer Ditlev Engel paid a courtesy call on the President at the Music Room of Malacanang Palace.

Also in attendance were Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo and Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla.

The EDC is a pioneer in the geothermal energy industry with more than three decades of proven business viability. It has helped discover new ways of developing and commercializing renewable energy.

EDC aims to strengthen its position as market leader by developing new greenfield and power generation projects.

Vestas Wind Systems A/S is a Danish manufacturer, seller, installer, and servicer of wind turbines. The company operates manufacturing plants in Denmark, Germany, India, Italy, Romania, Britain, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Australia, China, and the United States.

As of 2011, Vestas wind turbines generate enough electricity to provide for 21 million people. PND (js)

Aquino spells out major projects in Pampanga, nearby provinces

SAN FERNANDO CITY) President Benigno S. Aquino III spelled out Friday the completed and ongoing projects in Pampanga that were realized through the people’s adherence to the administration’s reform agenda for the province.

The administration brought reforms to Pampanga in two years and nine months in power, the President said during a meeting with Pampanga leaders held in this city.

The President reported that the 66,800 classroom shortage is now being addressed and the government targets to solve it by December 2013. Schoolchildren have enough books and chairs today. The Department of Education (DepEd) was able to address this concern last year.

In the province of Pampanga, the President said the government built 1,250 classrooms for the benefit of Kapampangan students.

There is also an all-out thrust on the part of the government to provide power to all communities in the country, the Chief Executive said. He added that 36,000 sitios without power are now being electrified and more than 7,200 sitios were recently connected to the grid in an honest and prudent way.

The President noted that out of 36,000 sitios, the government targets to power 77 sitios in Pampanga under the Sitio Electrification program, adding that more than half of this target have already been electrified at a cheaper price.

On infrastructure development, the President vowed not to leave Pampanga behind stressing that once the Gapan-San Fernando-Olongapo Road project is completed, travel time from Pampanga to Bataan will be cut from an hour to 30 minutes.

He also said the 12-kilometer Lubao-Hermosa, Bataan widening road project is expected to benefit tourism and commerce. Following the opening of the Lazatin Flyover, the flow of traffic has improved in San Fernando City.

The towns of Florida Blanca, Magalang, Lubao, Sta Ana, Mexico, Masantol and Apalit are now benefiting from the completion of seven farm-to-market roads built by the administration. This is in addition to P52 million allocated for the repair and rehabilitation of five irrigation systems to help the agriculture sector in Pampanga.

“Lahat pong ito ay gawa ng bawat Kapampangan na nakikisagwan o nakikibahagi sa tuwid na daan. Nakamit natin ang lahat nang ito dahil sa tiwala ng Pampanga sa tuwid na daan. At ikinagagalak ko pong ipaalam sa mga boss naming Kapampangan na natatanaw na po natin ang katapusan ng matagal na ninyong problema sa pagbaha,” he said.

To address flooding, President said the government has started the Delta Phase 1 Pampanga River Project, which will strengthen the dike system and slope protection to ensure the safety of Bulacan and Pampanga communities.

The Delta Phase I Pampanga River Project is also a part of the government P5 billion project—the Flood Management Master Plan that will rehabilitate San Fernando City, Sto Tomas, and Minalin Tail Dike as well as the Del Carmen-Balimbing creek.

The President likewise said that there is already an ongoing project for the Kapampangans—the P2.9 billion Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Measures in the Low-Lying Areas of Pampanga Bay.

The first component of the project is the dredging of more than 32-kilometer rivers of Pampanga to prevent them from overflowing during rainy seasons, President Aquino explained.

The second part is the elevation of flood prone areas and the transfer of schools to safer grounds to protect the structures from ravages of floodwaters, he said. PND (as)