September 03, 2017 at 12:01 am
John Paolo Bencito and Vito Barcelo
Some 1,606 local road projects have been completed in support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Build, Build, Build program, the Interior Department said Saturday.
The completed road projects were carried out under the Konkreto at Ayos na Lansangan ang Daan Tungo sa Pangkalahatang Kaunlaran (KALSADA) which transitioned to Conditional Matching Grant to Provinces (CMGP) for Road Repair, Rehabilitation, and Improvement in 2017; and Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB)-Local Access Program under the DILG’s Office of Project Development Services (OPDS).
Some 675 local road projects have been funded using the BUB-Local Access Program, with P559.94 million allotted across 12 cities and 181 municipalities in 65 provinces across the country, while 106 out of 208 KALSADA projects for 2016 have already been finished, with an aggregate total of 354.72 kilometers upgraded provincial roads.
DILG’s new program, CMGP, now has 36 ongoing projects, 35 projects on procurement stage; and 126 projects on pre-procurement stage, which would cover the upgrading, rehabilitation and improvement of provincial roads in 78 provinces nationwide.
Interior Undersecretary Austere Panadero said that they are 100 percent “behind the President in building key government infrastructure to propel economic growth.”
“We are proud to say that the completed core local roads all over the country has improved the connectivity of inner barangays to the places of economic convergence in their respective localities,” Panadero said.
During his second State of the Nation Address, Duterte said that the administration is targeting to increase government spending on infrastructure from five percent of the Gross Domestic Product to seven percent GDP by 2022, amounting to a total of P8 to P9 trillion.
Meanwhile, the completion of the one-kilometer Capas-Botolan road this November will cut travel time between Tarlac and Zambaez provinces by one hour and twenty minutes, the Department of Public Works and Highways said.
The P267-million road project is funded under the 2017 Infrastructure Program.
The DPWH is expected to complete the construction of the 5 kilometers missing gap at the Zambales Section of the 81 kilometers Capas (Tarlac) -Botolan (Zambales) Road this November.
Public works secretary Mark Villar said the road project will boost tourism activities in the two provinces.
“Construction includes placing stone masonry wall with line canal on mountain side which serves as slope protection and drainage, and provision of metal beam guardrail on the cliff side for road safety,” Villar said.
The improvement of this road network is expected to generate more tourists from Zambales to Tarlac and vice versa since tourist spots in both provinces of Central Luzon will become accessible from Botolan to Capas and vice versa.
“Capas—Botolan Road will not only establish a link from Tarlac to Zambales but will also reduce the present three hour travel time via Bataan and Pampanga,” Villar said.
“Before the implementation of the project, motorists either have to pass by the Provinces of Pampanga, Bataan, and as far as Pangasinan since rugged or mountainous terrain separates the two provinces,” he said.
Other than the ecotourism potential, Capas-Botolan Road will connect Zambales to the economic hubs in Tarlac and Pampanga where the state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority under the build, build, build initiatives of the government is building up an extension of Pampanga’s Clark Special Economic Zone with the Clark Green City Project in Tarlac, seen to become the focal point of economic development in the country within the next few years, Villar added.