Press Release
March 29, 2010

Villar vows to extend SLEX to Bicol

Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manny Villar yesterday vowed to extend the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to the densely populated Bicol region in order to enhance its economy and boost tourism in the provinces comprising the area.

Villar, who visited Bicol on Saturday and Sunday, promised Bicolanos more progress with a plan to extend the road network.

"The only way to stimulate the economy and boost tourism in the Bicol region is to extend SLEX all the way up to Sorsogon. I know it is not easy to do that, but we can first extend SLEX to Lucena City as an initial phase," Villar said in Filipino during a radio interview on DZMS, one of the largest radio network in Bicol.

He said the second phase can be up to Naga City in Camarines Sur and the third phase can be done up to Sorsogon.

The NP presidential candidate said if realized, extending the SLEX to Bicol would benefit more than five million residents of the region, including those in adjoining provinces, who will be able to swiftly transport their goods and enjoy easier access to target routes, particularly Manila.

The Bicol region consists of six provinces: Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon.

It has one independent chartered city, which is Naga, and six component cities: Iriga, Legazpi, Ligao, Masbate, Sorsogon and Tabaco.

Villar also said extending SLEX to Bicol provinces would also complement the proposed extension of the Light Rail Transit toward the South, particularly to Lucena and Bicol.

While in Bicol during the weekends, Villar and some NP senatorial candidates courted voters in Legazpi City and Tiwi in Albay and Sorsogon City and Casiguran in Sorsogon before attending a big rally in Naga City.

The Naga rally was held at the Freedom Park and was attended by international boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao and Wowowee's Willie Revillame.

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