TPLEX extension gets approval from NEDA

When the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) was completed a few years ago, travel to Baguio City and beyond only took half the time of what it used to be and has spurred a lot of economic opportunities, especially in the tourism sector.

Extending TPLEX all the way to Laoag, Ilocos Norte, has been hinted at by San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) top man, Ramon S. Ang, in 2020. Considering SMC’s vast resources, a TPLEX that stretches 484 kilometers north of Manila is not a far-fetched reality and it starts with a 59.4-kilometer, PHP 23.4-billion extension to the surfing town of San Juan, La Union.

Gov’t OKs PHP23.4B TPLEX extension to San Juan LU image

In a recent development, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), has approved the proposed TPLEX extension project from Rosario, La Union, to San Juan, La Union. The NEDA board is headed by President Bong Bong Marcos.

“The NEDA Board has approved the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway or TPLEX Extension Project. In accordance with the Investment Coordination Committee guidelines, this is the fastest unsolicited proposal approval, from its submission on March 17, 2023 to the approval today, June 2, 2023,” said NEDA Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and Director General, Arsenio Balisacan.

Balisacan also added that the TPLEX Extension Project would spur economic activity in Northern Luzon as it would facilitate connectivity to the Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, and Metro Manila

“This is expected to stimulate economic activity, alleviate road congestion, provide better and safer road access, and promote the development of new growth centers in nearby regions,” added Balisacan.

The TPLEX Extension Project would be implemented through a public-private partnership (PPP) under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).