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Duterte said a new Tarlac-Cabanatuan highway would help the Philippines’ economy

President Rodrigo Duterte expressed optimism on Thursday that the first 18 kilometers of the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) would contribute to the country’s economic recovery.

“This project will facilitate the flow of products between Metro Manila and Central Luzon, which would benefit businesses, consumers, and the economy,” Duterte remarked during the opening of the 18-kilometer Tarlac Interchange to Aliaga Section of the CLLEX Project (Phase 1) in Tarlac City.

Around 11,200 vehicles and commuters would benefit from the 18-kilometer stretch of the new highway that connects Tarlac, Rio Chico River Bridge, and Aliaga.

It is also anticipated to cut the travel time between Tarlac and Cabanatuan from 70 minutes to only 20 minutes.

The ceremony, according to Duterte, is another step forward in his administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure initiative.

He said that the new highway will enable commuters to “spend more time with their family and other constructive activities” since they would not have to suffer a lengthier journey.

“I am certain that our kababayans (fellow countrymen) would be delighted that the customary 70-minute travel time between these two important cities in Central Luzon will be cut in half,” he added. “With a shorter journey, commuters commuting to and from Metro Manila and Cabanatuan City would profit tremendously from this new expressway.”

In support of the Philippines’ “Build, Build, Build” initiative, Duterte praised the Japanese government for helping finance the building of CLLEX.

“The injection of PHP12 billion by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, attests to Japan’s essential position as one of our key partners in achieving inclusive development via infrastructure development,” he added.

Duterte also praised the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and its partners for completing the 18-kilometer stretch of the CLLEX in a “quick, efficient, and timely” manner.

He assured his fellow Filipinos that his government would keep its pledge to provide them with a “more comfortable existence.”

“And, as part of this guarantee, key infrastructure and transportation-related projects would be completed effectively, efficiently, safely, and on time,” Duterte added. “Just bear in mind that all of our development initiatives must maintain openness, accountability, and integrity.”

Duterte further said that, if finished, the whole 30-kilometer CLLEX Project would assist enhance access to numerous Tarlac and Nueva Ecija communities.

The DPWH has said that the whole 30-kilometer highway project would be completed during Duterte’s tenure, with the 10.30-kilometer Cabanatuan Section of Contract Package 4 currently at 88.7% completion.

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