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Subic Freeport Expressway opens

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The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and NLEX Corporation formally opened the Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX) expansion on Friday. -- Company handout

The P1.6-billion Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEx) expansion officially opened on Friday, NLEX Corp. said.

Construction of the 8.2-kilometer expansion project continued despite the pandemic to connect business activities in the Clark and Subic economic zones, the company said in a statement on Friday.

The project increases expressway capacity to a double carriageway with lanes in each direction from the single two-way carriageway. Construction included two new bridges and a tunnel.

“We continued the construction of the new expressway despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and the stringent health protocols. The construction project also provided jobs and supported the livelihood of our people. It was also our way of helping our countrymen manage the economic impact of the health crisis. MPTC and NLEX continue to stand with the government in its commitment to improve the lives of Filipinos through infrastructure projects such as this,” NLEX Corporation President and GM J. Luigi L. Bautista said in a statement.

NLEX said that the expansion would boost investments and tourism in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, a major port in central and north Luzon.

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“This fresh Metro Pacific Tollways infrastructure investment will improve mobility, accelerate the country’s economic recovery and more importantly, support the logistics and supply chain we urgently need. Around 10,000 motorists daily will benefit from this new road,” Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar said.

The company partially opened the new expressway to serve travelers during the December holidays.

NLEX Corp. is a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. Its parent Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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