House OKs bill for construction of Quezon-Bicol expressway
By Billy Begas
The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a measure seeking for the construction of the Quezon-Bicol Expressway (QUBEX).
No one objected to the passage of House Bill 9988, which received 238 votes.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, one of the authors of the measure underscored the importance of constructing the expressway that is expected to cut the travel time from Manila to Bicol from 10-15 hours to around five hours.
Salceda said the lack of backbone transport infrastructure has negative effect on the lives of the people in the region, especially during this pandemic.
Bicol has suffered some of the highest inflation levels in the country during the current COVID-19 crisis. As of July 2021, the inflation rate for Bicol was 6.5%, 2.5% higher than the July national average.
“Transportation is one of the key drivers [of inflation]. Our region saw transport inflation reach an eye-popping 13% in July. Food also continues to be expensive and is higher than the regional inflation at 6.6%. This is a direct result of the fact that it is expensive to transport to the Bicol region, the expense coming mostly from travel time,” Salceda said.
Salceda explained that the subsequent saving in time and fuel would help lower food, transport, and logistics costs in Bicol, and would make us competitive for business.
The expressway will start in Pagbilao, Quezon and will end at Maharlika Highway in San Fernando, Camarines Sur. The project will have an indicative length of approximately 220 kilometers.
The feasibility study of the project has been completed.
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