LINGAYEN, PANGASINAN—“Today, we fulfill a major item in our platform of government for the Province of Pangasinan. Today, we realize the objective of House Bill 4126 that I filed in Congress as Representative of the 5th District. Today, we actualize the partnership that our province has nurtured and treasured with San Miguel Corporation through the leadership of Dr. Ramon S. Ang.”
These are the words of jubilation stated by Governor Ramon “Mon-Mon” V. Guico III during the historic Signing of Joint Venture and Toll Concession Agreements for the implementation of Pangasinan Link Expressway (PLEX) Project held on October 19 at the Sison Auditorium in Lingayen.
Expressing gratitude to SMC President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ramon S. Ang and his team, the governor also lauded the undying effort of the members of the Joint Venture Selection Committee chaired by Provincial Administrator Melicio F. Patague II with the provincial heads, and the unfailing support of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan spearheaded by Vice Governor Mark Ronald DG. Lambino which he called “collective gift” to the posterity of Pangasinan.
“PLEX is one of the symbols of our connection,” Gov. Guico said as he added that the project is dedicated to the more than 3.1 million Pangasinenses who dreamed of the long overdue progress of the province.
“PLEX is one of the most important game-changers of the provincial administration. Through the PLEX, we shall have a systematized, comprehensive approach in navigating through Pangasinan, creating a road map never before imagined to be possible for our beloved province,” he added.
Ang, on the other hand, lauded both Gov. Guico and his father, 5th District Congressman Ramon Guico, Jr., for taking the lead in establishing big impact projects in Pangasinan.
Referring to Gov. Guico as a “pro-people” leader, it is this quality, he said, that signaled the green light for partnership with San Miguel Corporation Infrastructure.
Ang bared that Pangasinan is a great province in the entire Luzon as he further mentioned other businesses/projects that SMC have in the province such as the San Roque Dam which they plan to expand to become a pump hydro producing 1,600 megawatt power; the construction of train terminal in San Fabian or Sual, and the construction of the integrated mega poultry factory in Sison.
In stating this, the business czar vowed to establish more joint projects for Pangasinan in the near future.
Meanwhile, Vice Governor Mark Ronald DG. Lambino expressed elation in the realization of the project. “The forging of the Agreements which we have all come here to witness will finally set in motion what so many of us dreamed of–a better and safer road network not only in Pangasinan, but in the entire Ilocos Region, the birth and development of new growth centers and industries in our area, and the boost and unlocking of the economic potentials for our beloved province,” he said.
The SMHC was the only company that submitted to the provincial government a complete unsolicited joint venture proposal for the expressway project, a 42.76 kilometer four-year project costing P34 billion.
Once completed, the expressway will reduce travel time from Binalonan town to the capital town of Pangasinan which is Lingayen, from an hour and 40 minutes to only around 20 to 30 minutes.
Project segments will be from Binalonan to Manaoag, 6.9 km; Manaoag to Calasiao, 11.3 km; Calasiao spur, 2.39 km; and Calasiao to Lingayen, 22.7 km.
Aside from improving mobility, PLEX will become a revenue-generating project for Pangasinan.
The Binalonan-Lingayen segment will be the first phase while Lingayen-Alaminos City will be the second phase of the project.
Witnessing the gigantic milestone in the history of Pangasinan were 1st District Congressman Arthur F. Celeste, Sr.; 4th District Congressman Christopher de Venecia, 5th District Congressman Ramon Guico, Jr., ABONO Partylist Representative Robert Raymund “Eskimo” Estrella, former Bayambang Mayor and businessman Cezar T. Quiambao, members of the provincial board, Local Government Unit (LGU) chief executives led by Lingayen Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil, department heads of the provincial government headed by Provincial Administrator Melicio Patague, line agency representatives, members of the international, national and local media, among others.
(Ruby R. Bernardino & Chona C. Bugayong/Pangasinan PIO)