Funding for 4 road projects in Bukidnon halted

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/03 October) – The national government has stopped funding four road projects in Bukidnon which still need P2.85 billion to be completed, board member Nemesio Beltran Jr. said.

Beltran said the four road projects, which are all in the second district, were started by the Department of Public Works and Highways during the Arroyo administration but obtained budget only up to 2011.

The Valencia City-Talaingod-Kapalong Davao del Norte highway, the biggest of the four projects, still needs P1.525 billion to pave 51 kilometers and to install slope protection and flood control, he said. Aside from Valencia, it passes through the interior town of San Fernando.

The other three projects are the Aglayan-Zamboanguita, Aglayan-Alanib-Tikalaan, and the Impasugong-Patulangan roads.  About P1.324 billion is needed to complete the three roads.

The Aglayan-Zamboanguita and Aglayan-Alanib-Tikalaan roads were described as secondary arterial roads or alternate roads.

Beltran said the road projects will benefit Bukidnon’s two cities and at least six of its 20 towns.

That is why, he said, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan recently passed a resolution urging President Benigno Aquino III to mind the funds for the project.

“We are just reminding PNoy (President Aquino) about the ongoing projects to continue them because his new team may have different priorities now,” Beltran said via SMS Monday.

Since the roads also serve also as alternate to Bukidnon’s Sayre Highway, it is also important to road users coming from other parts of Mindanao, he said.

“Considering the foregoing, there is an urgent need to continuously fund the said road projects until completed,” he added.

Beltran said he could not cite the status of the projects in the two other congressional districts in the province.

In October last year, a MindaNews team traveled the full length of the Valencia-Talaingod-Kapalong road and noticed that some paved portions, particularly in Talaingod, had cracked and started to sink. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)