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President Aquino inaugurates Lipa-Alaminos Road

LIPA CITY, Philippines – President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday led the inauguration of the 17.4-kilometer (km) Lipa-Alaminos Road that links Lipa City and San Pablo City, two major urban growth corridors in the Southern Tagalog region.
The project provides a shorter link between Lipa and San Pablo, and a direct connection between the Pan-Philippine Highway and Laurel Highway (Manila-Batangas Road), which is part of the north-south backbone of the arterial road network.
The Lipa-Alaminos Road starts in Lipa City and ends in the municipality of Alaminos in Laguna province.
The P335.019-million project, which involved the upgrading and improvement of the road, was funded by a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and by the 2013 national budget.
It was completed in November last year, according to a project briefer from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The project cuts the travel time from Lipa to Alaminos from 45 minutes to 20 minutes, and serves 1,639 vehicles each day, including motorcycles.
According to the department, the project will directly benefit some 540,000 people, providing more convenience to those traveling to the Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club, Stonyhurst Southville International School, Fiesta World Mall, Mountain Rock Resort, The Nazareth School, Pampamilyang Paaralang Pangagrikultura Inc., and St. Therese of the Child Jesus.
During a project briefing, Public Works and Highway Secretary Rogelio Singson noted that from 2005 to 2010, the DPWH had allocated P4.1 billion for Batangas province.
Under the Aquino administration, from 2011 to 2016, the government poured in P16.2 billion, four times bigger than the previous government, Secretary Singson said.
He also reported that 89 percent of the projects for 2016 have already been completed.
For the 2016 budget, he said, the DPWH had disbursed money before the election ban and as a result, 90 percent of the department’s regular projects for the province have already been awarded.
These projects will continue and will not be hampered by the upcoming elections, he added.
Singson further said that 556 km of national roads in the province have been paved.
Using funds from the 2015 and 2016 budgets, the DPWH has widened, rehabilitated, and improved national and arterial roads, such as the Daang Maharlika, Manila-Batangas Road, Batangas-Quezon Road, Talisay, Laurel, Agoncillo roads, and other tourism roads, among them the Tanauan-Talisay-Tagaytay road, he said.
The DPWH is also opening the Batangas bay for resort development by constructing new roads. This would turn Batangas into a leading tourist destination.
Moreover, the department is planning to build a diversion road that will start from Batangas City, specifically from Batangas Pier to the STAR Toll, so trucks no longer need to traverse the center of Batangas City.
Singson said they will submit a proposal to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for approval, hoping that the next administration would continue its implementation.
The first phase of the project will cover 10.3 km from Pinamukan to the STAR Toll, he said.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.