Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways
A focus group meeting of the technical working group of House Committee on Ecology was organized in connection with proposed project within the Laguna Lake area.
Representing Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain expressed strong support to the proposal of Congress to push the Laguna Lake rehabilitation to maximize its environmental and economic potential.
Senior Undersecretary Sadain, however explained in a meeting at Alabang, Muntinlupa City on May 17, 2023 that the proposed Laguna Lakeshore Road Network (LLRN), with the DPWH as proponent, will be an outer ring high standard highway for the Laguna de Bay that will provide a faster and safer alternative for motorists traveling north or south.
The focus group meeting was spearheaded by Santa Rosa City Representative and House Committee on Ecology Vice Chairperson Danilo S. Fernandez with Committee Secretary Atty. Dilbert N. Quetulio, and participated by Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) Acting General Manager Senando A. Santiago; LLDA Director Virgillio Esguerra, Project Director Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim of DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Roads Management Cluster II (Multilateral); UPMO Project Manager Zenaida B. Mauhay; and Director Hazel Iris S. Baliatan of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
Others who attended are DPWH Stakeholders Relations Service Director Randy R. Del Rosario; Project Manager Olivia M. Baguio; LLRN Project Consultant Acting Team Leader Dr. Takayuki Tsuchida; and representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and other government agencies and stakeholders.
Phase I of the proposed project covering 37.4 kilometers of viaduct and embankment at western side from Lower Bicutan, Taguig City to Calamba, Laguna is already at 90 percent advanced stage of detailed engineering design funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility and road construction is expected to commence by the end of the year.
It will also cover the construction of eight (interchanges proposed to connect municipal boundaries to the nearest public road along Lower Bicutan, Sucat, Alabang, Tunasan, San Pedro/Biñan, Santa Rosa, Cabuyao, and Calamba).
The extensive environmental survey activities fully considered the project’s impact on the ecosystem of Laguna Lake.
LLRN Phase I costing ₱175 Billion will be funded through a loan from ADB which is now under review by NEDA.
The feasibility study for Phase II in the northern to southern coastline via an eastern route is already ongoing and involves consultation with the concerned national government agencies and local stakeholders. Funding for the detailed engineering design of Phase II will be included in the civil works loan for LLRN phase I.
The proposed third highway going south is expected to ease the traffic congestion, especially during rush hour at the Manila South Road and South Luzon Expressway to support the economic development and growth potential of the provinces of Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, and Rizal in the Southern Tagalog Region.
Meanwhile, Senior Undersecretary Sadain expressed confidence that another proposed DPWH project - the Parañaque Spillway Project, will effectively mitigate flooding.
The underground drainage channel connecting Laguna Lake to Manila Bay will avoid spilling of lake water into low-lying communities. The project to catch overflowing flood water from Laguna Lake before it is pumped out to Manila Bay will about 50 meters below underground traversing the cities of Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Bacoor City in Cavite.
Article courtesy of the Department of Public Works and Highways