Photo: slex tollway entry to NAIA

Finally, it seems that the long awaited Southern Luzon Expressway (SLEX) extension to Lucena city will finally commence. This is about forty years in the making from when it was first proposed in the late 1980s.

The topgear report (link below) states that the project will extend the SLEX from Santo Tomas, Batangas, to Lucena, Quezon.

This road link is vital to the people of southern Luzon, the Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas in particular, since the ability to transport people and goods on the road within 12 hours does a lot to spur trade and increase livelihoods for residents.

This road link alone removes the often torturous, traffic laden 3 hour drive from Alabang to Lucena, a distance of barely a hundred kilometers, reducing it to one hour. This, in turn, brings the road trip to Naga City down to six hours, Legazpi to 8, and Sorsogon to about 9.5. Imagine how this faster connectivity can drive business.

The main beneficiary of this upgrade are the southern regions below Metro Manila.

Bicol and Samar are known backwater regions, With Bicol having a weaker regional economy than a few counterpart regions in Mindanao. Easteen Visayas is also the regions laggard. High rates of poverty in these two regions can be solved with better connectivity that brings higher levels of commerce that create livelihoods.

The decision to push this project shows that a toll road through these areas is now a viable enterprise, what with GDP per capita growing. This becomes vital connectivity that will spur more trade and economic activity in regions outside Metro Manila, a project that for so long has eluded past governments.

We wish it success.

Topgear report here: