By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
THE Panay East-West Lateral Road project will connect Antique to central and northern Iloilo and Capiz once completed.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) funds the 41-kilometer road project traversing the mountains of Antique and Iloilo.
According to Engr. Al Fruto, assistant regional director of DPWH 6, the completion of the project would cost P2.6 billion.
They have been funding the project for three years, Fruto said.
“In 2017, P760-milllion was used to open the road along Bugasong-Valderrama road section in Antique and Lambunao-Inca road section in Iloilo,” he added.
Another P295 million was added in 2018, achieving about a fourth of the 41-km road project, as of the moment, Fruto added.
According to Fruto, once the project is realized, the Panay East West Lateral Road will bisect Panay laterally or horizontally.
“Back in 1987, there was already a pre-feasibility study for the project. It’s a long awaited project,” he added.
Fruto said the road project will open the potential of the agri and eco-tourism areas and will benefit Antique, Iloilo and part of Capiz.
“Ma-open naton potential nga mga eco tourism areas. Ang maka-benefit ang central towns of Antiqe, Iloilo up to Capiz, ma-open ang ila growth. Grabe ang ila potential for agri and ecotourism,” he emphasized.
The project is supposedly a five-year plan but there are sections that need improvement, Fruto said.
“May mga sections nga damo requirements. It will really start sa both ends. If we can traverse ang iban na areas, then masunod ang iban.”