He went to Cavite to sing the virtues of the administration’s local candidates and his handpicked senatorial candidates.
But President Benigno Aquino III also happened to show up bearing gifts for the Cavite voters.
Mr. Aquino announced that come July 1, an P860-million “tourism” road from Ternate, Cavite, to Nasugbu, Batangas, will be opened to motorists, cutting the travel time to the resorts of Nasugbu by at least an hour.
“The six-kilometer road is almost complete. This will further boost tourism in Cavite and Batangas,” Mr. Aquino told a political rally in Dasmariñas, Cavite, on Thursday.
Mr. Aquino had just come from inspecting the road project with Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and other administration officials and said he was impressed.
Ahead of schedule
He raved that the six-kilometer road offers motorists a “scenic view” of the countryside as they emerge from a tunnel at the boundary of Ternate and Nasugbu.
Once opened on July 1—ahead of schedule, he noted—the road would bring in more tourists and jobs for Batangas and Cavite residents, Mr. Aquino said.
The road project was conceptualized in 1994 during the Fidel Ramos administration, but its construction was delayed because of “right of way” issues.
“It’s almost 10 years and it’s not yet finished. But the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) has promised that come July 1, it will be open to motorists. The tourist areas will be nearer, and you will save travel time by at least an hour,” Mr. Aquino said in a speech aired over state-run dzRB radio.
Many plans for Cavite
Smoothly segueing into campaign mode, the President said the government had many plans for Cavite. But they would all depend on the kind of leaders the Caviteños would elect on May 13, he said.
He endorsed Cavite Rep. Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi and Jay Lacson, the ruling Liberal party candidates for governor and vice governor, among other local candidates, as well as the Team PNoy senatorial candidates.
“If our leaders are like Manong Ayong and others we have here, we don’t need to convince them about the reforms that we want to share with the Caviteños,” he said.
The President said that by 2015, the LRT Line 1 extension that will run from Baclaran in Pasay City to Bacoor, Cavite, will be operational for an estimated 250,000 passengers a day.
He said the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) had approved in January some P35 million for the Cavite-Laguna Expressway.
Connecting tourist resorts
At an earlier briefing for the President, Singson said the new tourist road would connect “tourism resorts” in Nasugbu, and would reduce the 4-hour-long travel time from Manila to Nasugbu via the Tagaytay Road to three hours.
The artery consists of a new four-kilometer paved road, a 1.4-km concrete road, four new bridges, and the 300-meter Kaybiang Tunnel.
“This has a very scenic view as you pass through this tunnel going down to Nasugbu,” Singson said.
To complement the new tourist trail, he said the DPWH was continuing to widen the roads leading to Cavite, from Tanza and Naic and Ternate.
“This becomes a lot more attractive for people to use and will decongest the now crowded Tagaytay Road,” Singson said.