Three provinces in Panay island are expected to benefit from the proposed Iloilo-Capiz-Aklan Expressway Project (ICAEx), included in the priority projects of the national government to be implemented through public-private partnership (PPP).
The proposed project was presented to Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. by officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Public Private Partnership (PPP) Service led by Director Alex G. Bote on Wednesday.
Defensor assured his full support because once implemented it would further boost the development of Panay Island, and not just Iloilo Province.
“It is now a concrete project of the national government. And we are very happy and we will pursue that. We are thankful to the new administration of President Ferdinand Marcos because it is included in the priorities,” the governor said in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
The ICAEx with an estimated length of 210 kilometers, traversing 20 municipalities along Iloilo, Capiz, and Aklan, is proposed to be a full-access controlled toll expressway with four lanes composed of elevated roadways, viaducts, a tunnel, and a long-span bridge.
The project will connect with the proposed Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge, which has a funding commitment from the Korean bank and its detailed engineering is being prepared.
The ICAEx is expected to start at Barangay M.V. Hechanova in Leganes, near the approach of the proposed bridge, and will end in Malay, Aklan which is the gateway to Boracay island.
“This is the best news that we have received. We have been pushing for this expressway,” Defensor said.
The Terms of Reference and Estimated Budget for the Contract of the project are currently being finalized, according to Bote in his presentation during the meeting.
It is expected to start two years after the investor takes on the project.
The proposed expressway is seen to reduce the travel time between the three provinces, eliminate congestion on the highways by avoiding chokepoints, ease the delivery of goods due to an enhanced logistics network, improve the delivery of the emergency response, and provide development opportunities for other tourism destinations in the island. (PNA)