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All Primary and Secondary Roads in Catanduanes Seen to be Concreted by 2016

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 11 (PNA) -- With the over P2.5 billion the administration is pouring into infrastructure projects in Catanduanes this year and next year, many locals are optimistic that all primary and secondary roads in the island province, known for its abaca and ecotourism would all be concreted by 2016.

We might even be completing all road and bridge projects in Catanduanes ahead of the target of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III in paving 100 percent of national roads in the country by 2016,
Engr. Danilo Dequito, the DPWH regional director for Bicol on Thursday said.

Panay island

The Catanduanes DPWH district engineering office headed by district engineer Ignacio Odiaman, Dequito said had P1 billion in allocations next year, the biggest so far that the island was given in history and P600 million of it is for road concreting alone.

By the end of this year, the DPWH Central Office in Manila will be holding the bidding for the P1.5-billion Road Upgrading and Preservation Project for the province funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Dequito said.

This project, extending from Virac, the capital town up to the municipality of Pandan cutting through and providing link with the towns of Viga, Panganiban and Bagamanoc, all in the northeastern section of the province covers more than half of the 204.5-kilometer Catanduanes Circumferential Road (CCR).

Works for this project are set to start early next year and its completion is expected in 2014, Dequito said.

At the southwestern section of the province covered by the CCR’s 63-kilometer span from San Andres to Caramoran towns, he said works funded by the P682-million appropriation for this year are ongoing and 73 percent completed as of the first week of this month.

By the end of this year, according to Dequito, only less than 10 kilometers of the same route will remain rough but scheduled to be paved by the close of 2013. Bidding of the project for this remaining section is set on November.

The Catanduanes district engineering office is also set to implement two major bridge construction projects along the San Andres-Caramoran route, starting with the P108-million Paturok crossing in San Andres set to begin construction this month and the P72-million Inalmasinan bridge in Caramoran which will likewise be finished in 2013, he said.

Along the 30-kilometer secondary national road linking the towns of Caramoran and Panganiban, the DPWH regional chief said, eight kilometers have been paved. Concreting of the remaining 22 kilometers will be done in phases until completion in 2016.

Of the 90-kilometer secondary road connecting the municipalities of Bato, Baras, Gigmoto and Viga, he said only 24 kilometers were yet to be paved and completion is also set by 2016. Dequito said four bridges are also going to be upgraded and three more will be repaired along this route.

All these works, he stressed are in line with the Aquino administration’s target of concreting all primary national roads in Catanduanes by 2014 and secondary national roads by 2016.

The island province, which is the country’s leading producer and exporter of abaca fiber known worldwide as Manila hemp and a booming eco-tourism destination is considered by President Aquino as a growth area and among the priorities for countryside development.

Catanduanes is a small Pacific Ocean island of 11 poor municipalities mostly sitting in the hinterland and these developments unfolding in the province, according to Dequito agree with what President Aquino stressed in his Second State of the Nation Address">second State of the Nation Address that “not one will be left behind” as the country moves now towards genuine progress and development under his stewardship.

Besides, the paving of all national roads leading to potential tourist destinations and economic growth areas of the country between 2014 and 2016 is a priority of the Aquino administration insofar as the DPWH under Sec. Rogelio Singson is concerned, he added. (PNA) LAP/DOC/CBD/

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