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Phase 2 of Circum Road Project on Hold Until After 2010 Elections - CT

Formal and official approval of the second phase of the Catanduanes Circumferential Road Improvement Project will have to wait for the new administration to take over in Malacañang by July 2010.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said last week during the 1st quarterly meeting of the Provincial Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council headed by businessman Rene Abella that the project documents are now with the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), which will forward it for the stamp of approval by the new president.

Engr. Rey Bejo of the DPWH Catanduanes Engineering District also informed the Tribune that last February consultation meetings regarding road right-of-way acquisition were held with stakeholders in three municipalities where the project will be implemented.

The consultations, conducted by ESSO-Central Office project manager Engr. Criste Zuniega-Navida, Engineer III Willy Galang of DPWH Central Office, Engineer III Rhines Brutas of DPWH Region V, and Engr. Rosanna Camacho of Catanduanes DEO, were attended by the town mayors, barangay captains and constituents.

According to Engr. Navida, major civil works will commence from Viga proper to Pandan proper, along which 12 to 20-meter road right-of-way would be required to widen the road, construct drainage and other roadside facilities. Private real properties, including improvements and crops, which will be affected and those which cannot be avoided during the construction will be removed with just compensation from the government through DPWH, she said. In contrast to the first phase of the circum road project, it is claimed, the right-of-way payments would be made based on the current market value in the locality prior to the implementation of the project.
Any extensions and additional structures constructed after the consultation meetings held on Feb. 27, 2010 will not be compensated,
Engr. Navida stressed.

The barangays with identified major right-of-way problems are: barangay Peñafrancia in Viga in view of the proposed realignment of Quiambag bridge; barangay San Rafael and Salvacion in Bagamanoc in view of the proposed road widening and road realignment; and, barangays Bagumbayan and Taopon in Panganiban due to the provision for road widening and slope protection structure in the area.

In Peñafrancia, Viga, residents urged the construction of flood control structure, restoration of the original river course and dredging instead of the bridge realignment/reconstruction. However, the DPWH stated that there are no funds for the proposal.

Source: Catanduanes Tribune - 24 March 2010

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