Subic Bay Freeport – The 8.2-kilometer expansion project for the Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX) that was designed to provide better, faster and safer access to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone was formally opened on Friday, Feb. 19, by the project developer and high-ranking government officials.
The project, which began in July 2019, was inaugurated by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma, Metro Pacific Investment Corporation (MPIC) President Jose Ma. Lim, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) President Rodrigo Franco, and NLEX Corp President J. Luigi Bautista.
Bataan 2nd District Representative Joet Garcia, Hermosa, Bataan Mayor Jopet Inton, and MPTC spokesperson Romulo Quimbo Jr. were also present in the occasion.
The expressway project, which was touted to further accelerate economic growth in the Subic Bay Freeport and surrounding communities, was built at a cost of P1.6 billion.
Chairman Eisma, who welcomed guests in the inauguration rites, acknowledged the heavy support of the national government in Subic’s development as a premier investment and tourism center and said that the project is another testament of President Duterte’s “strong support and love for the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.”
Eisma thanked Medialdea and the other top officials in the Duterte Cabinet for further pushing development here.
She also requested support for a proposed interchange that will benefit three industrial parks at the Tipo area, pointing out that these industrial projects signal the continued trust of foreign investors in the Philippines under the Duterte administration.
The SFEX capacity expansion project entailed the construction of two additional expressway lanes, two new bridges at Jadjad and Argonaut Road, and a new two-pane tunnel.
NLEX Corporation President Bautista said this will increase road capacity from one lane in each direction to two lanes in each direction, and thus will accelerate business activities and facilitate the flow of goods and services in and out of Subic.
“One of the key drivers of economic growth is a network of high-quality roads. The NLEX Corporation through NLEX, SCTEX, and the soon-to-be expanded SFEX not only intends to accelerate development, but also hopes to encourage travel convenience and road safety,” Bautista added.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque described the SFEX expansion as one of the key projects under President Duterte’s Build-Build-Build program and a testament that, under the Duterte Administration, the government is working non-stop to provide essential services to the people.
Thanking the MPTC for initiating the project, Roque said the SFEX expansion has significantly hastened travel from Manila to the Subic Freeport and provided motorists an alternative and faster route in and out of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
The SFEX, which is also known as the Subic-Tipo Expressway or NLEX Segment 7, connects the Subic Bay Freeport to the 94-kilometer Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), which in turn links with the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway.