The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the Philippines has announced that its PHP3.4bn ($70.6m) Surallah-T’boli-San Jose-General Santos City Road is nearing completion.

DPWH said that the project works, which include the construction of a two-lane concrete road spanning 66.69km, as well as two bridges and the provision of line canal and road safety facilities, are on track for completion.

DPWH secretary Mark Villar said that the project will connect Lake Sebu, Surallah and T’boli of South Cotabato municipalities to the commercial centres, seaport and airport in General Santos City.

DPWH is currently concreting a 12.65km road stretch, which was funded under the 2019 and 2020 budget.

The 12.65km road stretch, which will add to the 25.41km road, has been completed since the project started in 2016.

Villar said: “To date, the project generated a total of 594 job opportunities for skilled and nonskilled workers in the region and also served as a way to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth by supporting the increasing investment hubs and agri-tourism industry in SOCCSKSARGEN.”

Once completed, the road project is expected to reduce the travel time between Surallah to General Santos City to one hour from two hours.

The new route will bypass the congested main route along the Banga-Tupi-Korondal City-Polomolok Road.

The Philippines Government is also said to have included funding for the remaining 6.69km road gap in the proposed 2021 budget.

Last month, DPWH completed the concreating of a 1.55km segment of the Ifugao bypass road.

This project is aimed at shortening the distance between the municipality of Lagawe and Lamut in Ifugao Province.