OLONGAPO CITY?The Department of Public Works and Highways has released P195 million to start the construction of a road that would link Zambales and Tarlac.
Hercules Manlicmot, DPWH district engineer for Zambales, said the money would be used to pave a 6-km gravel road and complete an 8-km concrete road that precedes the construction of the Iba-Tarlac road.
Manlicmot said the 89-km road project, which features the construction of 20 bridges, needs P7 billion to complete.
?[The road] is considered a priority because the Iba-Tarlac road is Zambales? gateway to economic development. It will reduce travel time by an hour and will contribute to economic growth,? he said.
Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. and Tarlac Gov. Victor Yap earlier asked President Aquino to prioritize the project to push development not only in the two provinces, but also in other parts of Central Luzon.
DPWH records showed there were attempts to connect roads in Zambales and Tarlac but these projects were suspended after Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991.
?[This road will] not only open up Zambales to trade and tourism opportunities in the region, but would also ease the transportation system in the coastal province,? said Ebdane, a former public works secretary.
He said the project would provide an alternate route if flash floods render other routes impassable. Robert Gonzaga, Inquirer Central Luzon