All National Roads Concreted by 2015

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has disclosed that, based on the current pace, the concreting of the national road network in Catanduanes will be achieved before the end of 2015.

Cabuyoan, Catanduanes
Graveled road to Cabuyoan
Catanduanes DPWH District Engineer Ignacio Odiaman made the statement to the Tribune last week while engineers were finalizing the programs of work covering the P682 million budget of the district for 2011.

"Of the amount, about P673 million will be spent for the concreting of the circumferential road network in Viga, Gigmoto, Baras, Gigmoto and Pandan." Odiaman said, adding that P9 million will be used as counterpart of the Philippine government for the Spanish-funded construction of Sicmil bridge.

Congressman Cesar V. Sarmiento, for his part, expressed elation at the report that the Philippines and Japan have already signed and exchanged notes covering the grant of a P21.4-billion loan for the for the repair and maintenance of roads in various parts of the country, including Catanduanes.

Ambassador Makoto Katsura signed and exchanged notes on Friday (Jan. 28) with Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo, formally granting the official development assistance. The 40.8-billion-yen loan for the "Road Upgrading and Preservation Project" was coursed through the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

"This means that the second phase of the Catanduanes Circumferential Road Improvement Project from Viga to Pandan will proceed soon," he said.

To cost over P1.2 billion, the RUPP project for Catanduanes will involve the concreting of 9.49 kilometers of road from Viga to Bagamanoc and another 48.65 kilometers towards Pandan. Last year, road right-of-way consultations were made by engineers of the DPWH Central Office with stakeholders from three towns which will be affected by 12 to 20-meter road right-of-way required to widen the road, construct drainage and other roadside facilities.

bagamanoc catanduanes
Sub-standard secondary road
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.

The impending implementation of the Japanese-funded road project prompted Rep. Sarmiento and DPWH officials to request for the realignment of the P673 million, which was originally intended for the Bagamanoc-Pandan road section, to the 62-kilometer Codon-Caramoran-Pandan section as well as the national secondary road linking Bato, Baras, Viga and Gigmoto, and the Payo-Supang road section.

"With the expected completion of the concreting projects totaling 29 kilometers, we will have achieved the paving of 62 percent of the 315-kilometer national road network in Catanduanes by the end of 2011," DE Odiaman stressed. This does not include the 58 kilometers to be paved under the RUPP project, he said.

road, catanduanes
CCRIP Phase 1 near Viga, Catanduanes
He added that under five-year plan prepared by his office, another 12 percent will be added in 2012 and onward until the entire network is paved by 2015.

The Catanduanes project is part of the P3.9 billion worth of projects to be implemented by the DPWH in the Bicol region this year.

DPWH Regional Director Danilo E. Dequito said that the projects will be implemented in accordance with the 3-Rs criteria formulated by DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson to be adopted strictly by the department field engineers in the execution of the projects to ensure its durability and at the right cost.

Dequito explained that the 3-Rs refer to first, it should be the right project, second, at the right price and third, it should be constructed with the right quality to ensure its durability.

catanduanes, highway
During construction of CCRIP - Phase 1
He said the projects are composed of P3.8 billion worth of locally funded projects and P36 million worth of foreign assisted projects.

Dequito said the province of Camarines Sur has been allocated a total of P1.2 billion worth of projects to be implemented in the five districts of the province. Masbate, Dequito said, was earmarked a total of P784.5 million worth for various projects; Catanduanes P682 million; Camarines Norte P195.4 million; Sorsogon P154.3 million; Albay with P142.7 million; and P703 million worth of projects classified as region wide. (with a report from PIA-V)

Source: Catanduanes Tribune - 06 February 2010