DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 Apr) – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 11 has completed the bidding of all the major infrastructure projects lined up for implementation in the Davao Region this year.
During “Wednesday’s Habi at Kape” at the Abreeza of the Ayala Malls, DPWH-11 director Mariano Alquiza said they have received a budget of P19.5 billion from the national office to fund a total of 752 projects in the region.
A total of 46 out of 752 projects have so far been completed while the rest are ongoing, he said.
This year’s budget is higher by 36.4 percent as compared to last year’s P14.3 with a total of 777 projects, of which 687 were completed while the remaining are ongoing. For 2014, the region received an P8.3-billion budget that funded a total of 379 infrastructure projects.
Alquiza noted that the 31-kilometer circumferential road in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) is one of the road projects with the biggest impact to the local community as it improved access to several areas in the island as a tourism destination, stirring the island’s economy with the influx of more visitors.
The agency allocated a P320-million budget for the circumferential road’s development this year, stretching to Babak, Kaputian and Camudmud areas. Alquiza added that the DPWH-11 received a total of P1.195 billion for the project since it started in 2012.
“It is ongoing and every year, there is budget released… The whole stretch will cost about P12 billion,” he said. “Since we started this program, more tourists are coming in. It has impact not only on tourism but also on the local economy,” Alquiza said.
He noted that Samal Island, as a primary tourism destination, always gets budget from the agency, receiving P1.5 billion last year for tourism alone through the convergence effort of some government agencies.
The DPWH-11 works with other government agencies like the Department of Tourism (DOT) to augment the budget allocation for a project through the convergence program.
In terms of tourism projects, DOT-11 will identify the project to be funded while the local government unit (LGU) will settle the right-of-way. Sometimes, though, it is not being followed by LGUs which causes the delay in the project implementation, Alquiza said.
“We are not proposing projects with right-of-way problems… If the problem happens after the budget is awarded to the contractor, the budget remains. It will not expire if it has been obligated to the contractor. In some cases, if the problem is not resolved, the project will either be re-advertised or the money will be returned,” he said.
Alquiza said another project with big impact to the community is the Panabo Coastal Road, which is worth P600 million but some P100 million has so far been disbursed this year.
In Davao City, the P100-million Bacaca road, a project of note is the P100-million Bacaca road, which serves as an alternate road going to Buhangin area and helps solve traffic congestion, he said.
“It helps generate economy because it is serving the seaports. It is also an alternate route to prevent traffic congestion,” Alquiza pointed out.