DAGUPAN CITY – The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) has included the Pangasinan-Zambales road as among the priority projects to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) from 2017 to 2022.
Pangasinan Second District Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil lauded the move to include his pet project when he attended the Economic Zone Summit for Pangasinan and La Union sponsored by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) on Wednesday at CSI Stadia in Dagupan City.
In the summit initiated by PEZA Director General Charito Plaza, the NEDA regional office listed the projects lined up for Pangasinan and La Union including the Pangasinan-Zambales road earlier proposed by Bataoil to the DPWH. The proposed road will cut across vast tracts of idle lands between the two provinces.
Bataoil personally calls the 54-kilometer Pangasinan-Zambales highway as “Kalikasan Road” because it will open up areas for eco-tourism development and could be the location of another economic zone for Pangasinan where eco-tourism industries can be put up.
Hundreds of hectares in this area on the Pangasinan side can be tapped as economic zones, said Bataoil.
Budgeted by NEDA at PHP1.2 billion, the proposed Kalikasan Road was a former logging area which potentials for eco-tourism can be maximized in bid to bring more tourists to southwestern Pangasinan, starting from Mangatarem.
Bataoil said of the 54-kilometer Kalikasan Road, about half is within Pangasinan and the rest is in Zambales.
He said with the Pangasinan-Zambales road, travel time between the two provinces would be reduced to just one-and-a-half hours, he said.
Bataoil hopes the project could start before ending his third and final term in 2019 as congressman of the second district of Pangasinan. PNA-northboundasia.com