Motorists living in Panay will soon be able to travel around the island with ease as the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) recently announced the construction of a new major roadway. When finished, it will connect the provinces of Antique, Central and Northern Iloilo, and Capiz seamlessly.

To be called the Panay East-West Lateral Road, it will serve as a major roadway in the island of Panay and will involve the construction of a 41-kilometer, 20-meter wide stretch of road with bridges and slopes.

According to DPWH 6 Regional Director Wenceslao M Leano Jr., the project has a total budget of Php 2.6 billion. It includes an initial budget of Php 760 million from the 2017 fiscal year that was used for the road openings along Bugasong-Valderrama Road Section in Antique and the Lambunao-Inca Road Section in Iloilo. There will also be the additional Php 150 million and Php 145 million budget which will then be used on the aforementioned road sections accordingly from the 2018 fiscal year.

The Bugasong-Valderrama section spans 28 kilometers while the Lambunao-Inca segment stretches 13 kilometers and traverses the mountain ranges of Antique and Iloilo.

The DPWH expects the Panay East-West Lateral Road to be completed by 2020. When fully opened, it will reduce travel time from two hours and thirty minutes, to just two hours from Central Ilolilo to Antique and vice versa. In addition, the DPWH stated that it will benefit around 300 motorists a day, boost tourism and agricultural productivity, and will complement the existing Strong Republic Nautical Highway route.