Koronadal City seeks release of P36M for rehab of bridges

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/01 August) — The city government of Koronadal is seeking the release of a P36-million funding from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to facilitate the rehabilitation of two major bridges in the area.

City administrator Cyrus Urbano said Tuesday the funds were allotted for the protection and rehabilitation of Barangays Sto. Niño and Concepcion bridges, which sustained damages during a major flooding in the area two years ago.

He was referring to the severe floods in the city and parts of South Cotabato province on June 24, 2015 that left three people dead and destroyed millions worth of infrastructure, including another major bridge in Barangay Namnama.

The official said the local government immediately requested funding from the national government, through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the DPWH, for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the damaged bridges.

The DPWH approved the release of P70 million for the rebuilding of the collapsed Namnama bridge and P18 million each for the rehabilitation of the Sto. Niño and Concepcion bridges, he said.

The agency completed late last year the reconstruction of the Namnama bridge, which connects the city to several outlying barangays and Lutayan town in Sultan Kudarat.

But Urbano said the release of the allotment for the Sto. Niño and Concepcion bridges remained pending up to this time.

Owing to this, he said the DPWH Region 12 asked the city government to help coordinate their central office regarding the delayed release of the funds.

He said DPWH-12 requested the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to issue an endorsement for the immediate release of the P36-million allotment.

“The funds are there already but we need to follow it up to fast track their release,” he said in a radio interview.

As cited in the project plans, Urbano said the P18-million allotment for each bridge would be used to strengthen riverbank protection, especially the dikes near their approaches.

Rushing floodwaters from the Marbel River had mainly damaged the approaches and affected the stability of the Concepcion and Sto. Niño bridges.

He added that the two projects will be implemented by the DPWH-12. (MindaNews)