DAET, Camarines Norte --- Former Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Chair Liwayway Vinzon Chato has recently launched her “Asenso Highway” a center piece program that would spur economic development in the province.
Chato a Kusog Bicolandia (KB) candidate for House Representative in the province, second district in an interview said her Asenso Highway is both an infrastructure, socio-economic development program that would link her district and the province to highly progressive provinces in Bicol, CALABARZON areas (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon.
Chato said she intends to link the province to the administration Build, Build, Build program that would construct a 180-kilometer expressway dubbed as Quezon-Bicol Expressway (QBEX).
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has proposed the QBEX a project aimed at reducing travel time between Manila and the Bicol region, she said.
The former BIR chair said her program would open-up a 40-kilometer road interchange network from Daet town passing through the towns of San Lorenzo Ruiz to Del Gallego town in Camarines Sur where the road network would serve a conduit to Naga City as well as Pagbilao town in Quezon.
“While we construct the road network linking Bicol and Southern Tagalog provinces we also expect to open-up our products to other places thru the QBEX,” she said.
She said once completed the road interchange would cut short by several hours travel time in either going or leaving Daet town including other Bicol provinces and Metro Manila.
Chato laments, that the province had been left behind in terms of economic growth by other Bicol provinces primarily because of the Andaya Highway that links Quezon to Camarines Sur leaving other towns of Camarines Norte.
Under the QBEX proposed highway, travelers going to Daet would take the new road network starting at Pagbilao, then it goes to Gumaca, Tagkawayan, Del Gallego where the Asenso Highway interchange would lead and goes thru San Lorenzo Ruiz town and would end in Daet the capital town of the province, while those traveling to cities of Naga and Legazpi would again take the interchange, Chato pointed out.
She said “with the Asenso Highway we are opening our doors to tourism, trade.”
Chato has introduce her program at Sunday’s grand political rally at the Camarines Norte State College where she also endorsed the administration Senatorial candidates Ex PNP Chief Roland “Bato” Dela Rosa and former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.
Chato was a member of the House of Representative during the 14th Congress (2007-2010). She is challenging incumbent Representative Marisol Conejos-Panotes.
According to the DPWH, the QBEX feasibility has been completed and it is to be submitted to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for evaluation and approval.
QBEX has identified a 220-kilometer alignment running from Lucena City to San Fernando, Camarines Sur.
The QBEX would seek funding through either the PPP (Public Private Partnership), the General Appropriations Act (GAA) or the Official Development Assistance (ODA).