BCDA TO COMPLETE SUBIC-CLARK-TARLAC HIGHWAY BY SEPTEMBER

Manila, June 22, 2003 By Marianne V. Go (Star) The Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) has expressed confidence it would be able to complete the 90-kilometer stretch of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac expressway by September.

Project manager Rolando J. Tongco said negotiations for right-of-way settlements are now more than 90 percent complete, after resolving problems on lands covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Specifically, Tongco said, certain portions of land that are involved in ROW disputes have been mortgaged to the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) due to CARP.

Since BCDA needs a portion of the CARP-covered land which is in turn mortgaged to the LBP, the BCDA encounters additional problems in having to settle the outstanding CARP loan with the LBP before the government bank releases the land to the BCDA.

Thus, the BCDA had to make an additional capital outlay in the form of financial assistance to farmers who have mortgaged their land to the LBP.

But Tongco said the BCDA has been able to negotiate with the farmers to turn over the land first while financial negotiations continue.

The Subic-Clark-Tarlac expressway is seen to provide a direct and efficient road connection between major development areas of Subic, Clark and Tarlac.

The project has been divided into two packages. Package I involves the Subic to Clark portion while Package II covers the portion from Clark to Tarlac.

Under Package I, the areas to be acquired include 305 hectares for the expressway, another 50 has. for five interchanges and an additional 20 has. for the business and service areas, or a total land acquisition of 375 has.

For Package II, the areas to be acquired include 225 has. for the 44.4 kilometer expressway, 90 has. for nine interchanges and 20 has. for the business and service areas, or a total of 365 has.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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