Traveling from Manila to the Visayas region can be a daunting task. First, fuel prices have more than doubled in the past year or so, and second, it’s a very long and lonely road to reach Matnog Port in Sorsogon. 585 kilometers (from KM 0) and 12 to 15 hours ride to be exact.
But there’s good news: San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has recently inked a deal that would extend the South Luzon Expressway all the way to Matnog.
Representation of what could be TR5's alignment from Lucena City to Naga City
The signed deal between SMC and DOTr, the Supplemental Toll Operations Agreement (STOA) for SLEX Toll Road (TR) 5, means that the conglomerate headed by Ramon S. Ang (RSA) is now fully committed to undertaking all the works required by the project, including financing, Right of Way Acquisitions (ROWA), and even the heavy lifting civil and other engineering works.
The SLEX TR5 will start from Lucena City in Quezon and will go all the way to Matnog in Sorsogon. SLEX TR5 will be constructed in 8 segments, 28 interchanges, and will feature a 2x2 lane toll road. Its tip is planned to land shortly before reaching Matnog RoRo Port.
On the other hand, SLEX TR5 will be connected to Metro Manila via SLEX TR4, which is a 57-kilometer expressway from Sto. Tomas, Batangas, passing through San Pablo, Tiaong, Candelaria and finally to Lucena City.
Segment 1 of SLEX TR5 will be a 61-kilometer toll road from Lucena to Gumaca; Segment 2 will be a 59-kilometer section from Gumaca to Tagkawayan; Segment 3 will connect Tagkawayan and Sipocot and will be 61.4-kilometers long; Segment 4 will connect Sipocot to Naga City with its 39.5-kilometers concrete road.
Segments 5-8 will connect the towns of Naga, Polangui, Legaspi City, Sorsogon City and finally, Matnog.
Once the project is completed, travel time from Manila to Bicol Region and the Visayas will be reduced significantly. The only question is, how much will be the toll fee.