CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – The current state of dilapidation of stretches of the
Manila North Road, better known as the MacArthur Highway, has risen to an even
graver concern with the scheduled closure – for repairs – of the Candaba Viaduct
of the North Luzon Expressway.
Pampanga 4 th District Rep. Anna Bondoc-Sagum on Thursday said she has raised
the concern with the Department of Public Works and Highways, even as she took
to task the NLEX management for its alleged failure in maintenance of the
expressway “despite the high toll exacted on motorists.”
“Napag-alaman ko pong tatlo lang ang main thoroughfares from North and
Central Luzon to Metro Manila – ang MacArthur Highway, ang NLEX, at ang
Maharlika Highway,” noted Bondoc-Sagum during a media conference at the
Fortune Seafood Restaurant here.
“Kung magsasara po ang Candaba Viaduct, at sa current dilapidated state ng
MacArthur Highway at Maharlika Highway, wala na pong dadaanan ang mga
trucks containing essential goods and construction materials going to Metro
Manila and Region IV-A,” she explained.
“Ito pong nangyaring earthquake did not help the situation. Ina-assess pa ngayon
kung anong nangyari sa viaduct at kung magsara man ito at hindi pa maayos ang
Manila North Road, mapuputol po ang supply ng pagkain at construction
materials papuntang south,” the solon furthered.
Bondoc-Sagum cited as “very positive” her meeting with DPWH officials as P200
million has been allocated for the emergency repair of MacArthur Highway
stretches in the towns of Apalit, Sto. Tomas, Minalin, and San Simon – all in her
“Dahil po sobrang emergent na ng situation, we’re not gonna wait for next year’s
funding anymore. The Public Works is committing initially P200 million for
Pampanga and another P100 million for Bulacan from their savings this year. As of
now, ongoing na ‘yung repair,” she said.
The DPWH, she added, is committed to the total upgrading and reconstruction of
the MacArthur Highway starting next year.
“Magtutuluy-tuloy ‘yan next year dahil kailangan na talaga maitaas ang Manila
North Road dahil binabaha na rin ang maraming sections niya kapag malakas ang
ulan,” she said.
The solon lamented that despite the “high toll fees collected from motorists, NLEX
seems remiss in maintaining the roadworthiness of the expressway, especially the
“It did not just happen yesterday,” she said of problems on the structural integrity
of the Candaba Viaduct. “Sa tinagal-tagal niyan, sa laki na ng kinita sa toll ng NLEX,
bakit kailangang humantong pa sa ganitong pagsasara kung na-maintain lang yan