Tuesday, 19 January 2010

DPWH progress report on SONA promises

VG Cabuag
Business Mirror
http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/home/economy/21056-only-5-of-23-sona-roads-to-be-completed-by-junedpwh.html

SEVERAL road projects promised by President Arroyo during her previous State of the Nation Address (Sona) will not be completed before she steps down from power in June, a report from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) shows.

According to the data, only five of the agency’s 23 Sona projects will be completed, and all of these are in Luzon, which have a total funding of P11 billion.

According to the agency’s estimates, the projects will only be 90-percent complete by June, but most of the infrastructure will be finished within the year.

Some of the access road projects are also vital to the completion of some of the country’s airports and seaports, including the Dingalan Port and the Bacolod Airport.

The said projects exclude build-operate-transfer and flood-control projects.

Data show that 18 Sona projects in the Visayas and Mindanao, worth P44.2 billion, will only be 81-percent and 95-percent complete, respectively, by June.

The said projects include the New Bacolod (Silay) Airport Access Road and Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project.

DPWH said those projects completed in Northern Luzon are mostly in the Mountain Province, including the 95.3-kilometer Halsema Highway, the 108-km Bontoc-Tabuk-Tuguegarao Road, and also the 27.27-km Baler, Aurora-Casigura Road.

For the Luzon Urban Beltway, DPWH was able to finish the 120.6 km Tarlac-Nueva-Ecija-Aurora-Dingalan Port and the 109-km Marikina-Infanta Road projects.

DWPH, however, has its hands full as there are several projects still underway, most of which are vital to the movement of goods in the country.

These are the expansion of Circumferential 5 in Quezon City and Valenzuela, which will serve as link to North Luzon Expressway operated by the Manila North Tollways Corp., and the P8.78-billion North Luzon East Expressway, in which Ausphil Tollways Corp. submitted its unsolicited proposal to the government way back in 2005.

According to the proposal, the expressway will start from Commonwealth Avenue at La Mesa to San Jose del Monte City to Norzagaray in Bulacan province.

DPWH is also set to finish its feasibility study of the proposed P39.19-billion Circumferential 6 Road Project. The said study is being funded by Korea International Cooperation Agency and Japan External Trade Organization but the government is still looking for funding for the entire road project.

DPWH said projects in the Visayas that will not be completed by June include road infrastructure in Palawan linking the Rio Tuba mine, Cebu North Coastal Road Project, and the P1.19-billion New Bacolod (Silay) Airport Access Road, which is funded partly by the Korean Economic Development Fund.

In Mindanao DPWH said it would finish the P303-million Dapitan-Dakak Road in Zamboanga del Norte within the month.

Elnora Gongob, district engineer of DPWH 3rd Zamboanga Engineering District Office, said the lone access to the two tourist spots of Dapitan City’s Rizal Shrine and the Dakak Park and Beach Resort is already 95.21-percent complete.

“Classifying and recommending the road network as a national highway will surely boost the economic stability of this coastal part of the area and maximize the impact of tourism since beautiful beaches and tourist, national parks are found along the shore,” she said.

“This will, likewise, provide a wider market for marine agriculture products through accessible farm-to-market road,” Gongob said.

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