With the Pangasinan Link Expressway (PLEX) project given a go, it would only be a matter of time that destinations in and around the province will boom. Together with the Hundred Islands and the Manaoag Church, the other not-often visited hideaways will finally capture its target audience.

The PLEX project is part of the province s broader initiative to enhance the road networks in Central and Northern Luzon. The unveiling of the site marker which greenlighted the P34-billion project will be shouldered in total by San Miguel Corporation (SMC). The marker indicated the Laoac-Binalonan by-pass road for the PLEX project.

"The unveiling of the marker signals the start of the monumental project between SMC and the Province of Pangasinan. If we join hands, there's nothing we cannot accomplish. It is our commitment to better lives at no cost to the government. The initial phase will cover a 7-km road stretch from Binalonan to Manaoag. Before, Binalonan had nothing. Now, there's an airfield as well as as manufacturing companies. I suggested to Gov. Guico that the Air Traffic Controlling Center be set up here because they have the facility, plus Gov Guico, as a pilot, has knowledge on aviation.

"The expressway continues with an 11.3-km road from Manaoag to Calasiao, then 22.1 kms from Calasiao to Lingayen. The second phase of this project extends the road all the way to Alaminos. Not to mention the several seaport projects that are underway. The PLEX will connect to the TPLEX and the New Manilla International Airport (NMIA) in Bulacan," shared SMC President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ramon Ang.

"The area where the NMIA will rise was a swampland without road access. Several years ago, lots were sold at P15,000 per square meter. Now, the land price demands a whooping P 10-million per square meter!" he added.

PLEX is a realization of an ambitious dream of Gov. Guico to bolster the province's economic and tourism growth, and be a "game changer" for Pangasinan. When the expressway becomes operational, travel time from the town of Binalonan to the capital city of Lingayen will be reduced from an hour-and-40 minutes to about 20 to 30 minutes.

"My dream for the province will finally commence its initial stages. Despite SMC's busy schedule in completing the NMIA project, it has also greenlighted the PLEX project. All other business undertakings within Pangasinan are anchored on the PLEX project. It will become the backbone of the province as it will provide an end-to end ease of travel and connectivity. When I was Binalonan mayor in 2010, our coffers only had P 92 million to spend for everything. Now, Binalonan's coffers are more liquid and higher than the national subsidy. The PLEX project is on time and on schedule," revealed provincial Governor Ramon Guico III during the unveiling ceremonies in Brgy. Balligi in Laoac town.

PLEX is a four-year partnership between the Province of Pangasinan and SMC that is expected to change the province's inland connectivity and will facilitate the faster movement of people, commodities, and services.

After 35 years, PLEX will be wholly-owned by the provincial government; as provided for in their written agreement, officially signed on October 19, 2023.

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