The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is currently undertaking the construction of an access road that will connect the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) to the Hermosa Ecozone Industrial Park (HEIP) in Bataan, promoting stronger economic activities in Central Luzon.
Citing reports from DPWH Regional Office 3, DPWH Secretary Roger G. Mercado said that the construction of the access road is divided into two (2) stages: the Mabiga–Morong–SBFZ Section for Phase 1 and the Mabigat–Palihan Section for Phase 2.
Included in the project’s Phases 1 and 2 are the construction of a four-lane, 17.74-kilometer road from SBFZ to the Mabiga Exit of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and the 7.43-kilometer road opening with slope protection and drainage from Barangay Mabiga to Barangay Palihan in Hermosa, Bataan.
According to DPWH Regional Office 3 Director Roseller A. Tolentino, the project is a multi-year endeavor by the regional office in close coordination with the DPWH Bataan 1st District Engineering Office (DEO) that has a total estimated cost of P4.05 Billion.
In 2020, the first phase of the project received P120-Million funding from the national budget for the 3.95-kilometer road improvement of the Mabiga–Morong–SBFZ Section’s Mabiga–Morong Segment.
Meanwhile, a total of P200 Million sourced from the 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA) was allocated for the civil works of the Mabiga-Palihan Section.
Director Tolentino in his report to Secretary Mercado said that the expected completion dates for the ongoing construction works in the Mabiga–Morong Segment of the Mabiga–Morong–SBFZ Section and the Mabiga-Palihan Section are set in June 2022 and January 2023, respectively.
The whole stretch of the access road, on the other hand, is expected to be fully operational and open to public by 2027.
When completed, the access road will serve as a new alternate road from the HEIP to major seaports and airports in the region while also facilitating inter-regional transportation by acting as a link of the industrial center to the Luzon Spine Expressway.