CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Aug. 29 (PIA)–With the economic boosts and job generation rooting from continued infrastructure projects amid the coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 pandemic, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-10 now works on 394 out of the 583 projects in Northern Mindanao.
“Despite sa crisis, padayon ang proyekto sa DPWH ug nakahatag ni ug dugang trabaho sa 8,326 construction workers. Para dili makompromiso ang health nila, gasunod ta sa minimum health requirements gikan sa Regional Inter Agency Task Force on COVID-19,” DPWH-10 Regional Director Zenaida Tan said during the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS)-X Podcast with Communications Sec. Martin Andanar, August 29.
(Despite the crisis, DPWH-10 continues to implement its projects and such gave additional jobs to 8,326 construction workers. We are following the minimum health requirements set by the Regional Inter Agency Task Force on COVID-19 so as not to compromise the workers’ health)
DPWH-10 already completed 179 projects in the region.
Prioritizing road projects
For traffic decongestion projects, DPWH-10 is working on the 17.5 km bypass road from Barangay Gusa to Barangay Igpit, Opol, Misamis Oriental. The project costs P2.6 billion and was started 2010. Travel time from 1 hour will be reduced to 20 minutes. The department targets to complete the project by September 2020. They are also proposing to add 9.3 km of such road from Barangay Gusa to Barangay Puerto.
Another DPWH-10 project for traffic decongestion is the CDO to Iligan City alternate road, which will run from Barangay Bulua, CDO to Barangay Digkilaan, Iligan City with about 58.87 km. Once completed, the travel time, which is usually 2 hours and 30 minutes will be lessened to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Started on 2019, the alternate road costs about P3.74 billion and is targeted to be completed by 2025.
To also aid traffic decongestion, a four-lane, 5.59 km Iligan City bypass road is implemented by the department. Such road starts at Barangay Filomena up to Barangay Tambakan, Iligan City. Travel time from 1 hour and 30 minutes will be reduced to 25 minutes once completed by 2025. The project costs P4.27 billion and is at 12.47 percent accomplishment based on project cost.
Mindanao Road Development Program
To further aid in boosting economic activities in Mindanao, DPWH-10 works on the Bukidnon-Coatabato Alternate Road via Kibawe, Bukidnon-Arakan Road in Cotabato with a total length of 38 km. Running a total budget of P1 billion, the project aims to improve interregional connectivity and address armed conflict incidents in the area.
In addition, the department is at 83 percent completion of the Bukidnon-Davao Alternate Road via San Fernando-Compostela Valley Road in Region 11. Started 2018, the P1.225 billion project will reduce travel time from 3 hours to 20 minutes once completed by 2022. It has a total length of 12.36 km.
Also, part of the Mindanao Road Development Program is the construction of Bukidnon-Agusan Road via Malaybalay-Eureka-Butuan Road, which is now at its 72.18 percent accomplishment based on project cost. Once completed in 2022, the P9.675 billion project aims to aid in boosting tourism in Bukidnon and Caraga areas.
Further, with about P1.1 billion project cost, the Misamis Occidental-Zamboanga Alternate Road’s completion will lessen travel time from 1 hour and 20 minutes to 40 minutes. The road will run from Plaridel, Misamis Occidental to Rizal, Zamboanga City in Region 10. Target year of accomplishment is by 2026.
For the inter-island linkages, Tan said the P4.86 billion Panguil Bay Bridge is currently on the works. Once completed, the 3.48 km bridge will become the country’s longest bridge that will reduce travel time from 2 hours and 30 minutes via roll on/roll-off (RO-RO) ships to 20 minutes. This is a foreign-assisted project with P4.27 billion fund from the Korean Economic Development Cooperation Fund. The bridge will connect Tangub, Misamis Occidental and Tubod, Lanao del Norte.
Infra for disaster risk reduction and response
In responding to calamities and flooding, DPWH-10 works on the CDO Drainage, Bitan-ag and Kolambog catchment with a total budget of P3.9 billion where only 22 percent has been funded. The department still needs P3 billion to complete the project that will address flooding concerns in Barangays Camaman-an, Lapasan and Puntod.
For the Sapang catchment, only 30 percent of the P2.4 billion budget has been funded and such will cover Barangays Bayabas, Bonbon, Bulua, Kauswagan and Patag. Also, for Carmen catchment, P1.1 billion is allocated and DPWH-10 still needs P360 million to cover Villarin, Gumamela, Seriña and Suniel streets in Carmen.
In terms of bridge retrofitting works, DPWH-10 works on 42 bridges throughout the region from 2019-2020 with a total budget of P381 million. They also built evacuation centers since 2016 where 11 are already completed and 10 are ongoing.
As for convergence projects, Tan said there are 75 projects in the region where P2.7 billion is allocated for tourism road projects, P1 billion for 103 farm-to-market road projects, and P368 million for 26 projects on national security.
“Ang imprastraktura usa sa focus ni President Rodrigo Duterte, ang connectivity. Kinahanglan nga naa’y maayong dalan ug tulay aron ang serbisyo sa gobyerno makaapas sa paglambo sa rehiyon (Infrastructure is one of the priorities of President Rodrigo Duterte, particularly on connectivity. We need to have good roads and bridges so the services of the goverment can keep up with the developments of the region),” Tan said. (RTP/PIA10)