The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was able to carry-out massive infrastructure development nationwide under the” Build Better More” Program in the first full year of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.
DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan discussed the administration’s infrastructure accomplishments at the Post-State of the Nation (SONA) Discussions held Tuesday, July 25, 2023 at the Hilton Hotel, Newport Boulevard, Pasay City.
From July 2022 to May 2023, a total of 4,082 kilometers of roads were constructed, maintained, widened, upgraded and rehabilitated; 497 bridges were constructed, widened, upgraded, rehabilitated and strengthened; 2,103 flood-control projects were completed; 4,038 classrooms were constructed; 216 kilometers of farm-to-market and 8 kilometers farm-to-mill roads were completed; 55 evacuation centers were built; and 6,002 rainwater collectors were installed.
In the same period, DPWH also completed the implementation of 138 kilometers of roads leading to tourism destinations under the Tourism Road Infrastructure Program (TRIP) in convergence with the Department of Tourism; 81 kilometers of roads under the Roads Leveraging Linkages of Industry and Trade (ROLL-IT) Program with the Department of Trade and Industry; and 18 kilometers of roads under the KAlsada TUngo sa Paliparan, Riles at daungAN (KATUPARAN) Program in collaboration with the Department of Transportation.
Among the completed projects are: the 22.4-kilometer Pangasinan-Nueva Vizcaya Road; 511-meter Abusag Bridge along Baybayog-Baggao-Dalin-Sta Margarita Road, Baggao, Cagayan; 24.03-kilometer Alicia – Malangas Road in Zamboanga Sibugay; 15.35-kilometer Tampilisan – Sandayong Road in Zamboanga del Norte; 29.7-kilometer Lutiman – Guicam - Olutanga Road, Province of Zamboanga Sibugay; 11.6-kilometer Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project phase 1; and the Flood Risk Management Project Contract Package 2 along Cagayan De Oro River.
Moreover, Secretary Bonoan said that DPWH’s fund utilization has improved going from a disbursement rate of P668.3 Billion for the entire year of 2021 to P784.6 Billion in 2022 or an increase of P116.3 Billion or 17 percent.
In the same period this year, the disbursement rate increased by 15 percent as compared to the first semester of 2022. It increased by P55.3 Billion or from P358.6 Billion in 2022 to P413.9 Billion in 2023.
Moving forward, DPWH Secretary Bonoan said that President Marcos’ administration, recognizing the role of infrastructure development in the country’s economy, will continue to hasten the rollout of high-impact projects.
Philippine High Standard Highway Network Program:
Under the Build Better More Program, DPWH aims to increase the country’s High Standard Highways / Expressway from 523 kilometers to 1,963 kilometers. One of the priority projects in Mindanao is the on-going Davao City Bypass Construction Project which involves the construction of 2 – 2.3 kilometer mountain tunnels. While, the 8.02 kilometer - Segment A: Bago Aplaya-Times Beach (Talomo-Matina) Section of Davao City Coastal Road was inaugurated by the President last July 1, 2023.
Luzon Spine Expressway Network (LSEN) Program:
The Luzon Spine Expressway Network (LSEN) Program, which involves the construction of 1,073 kilometers of Expressways/High Standard Highways in Luzon, aims to reduce travel time from Ilocos to Bicol from 20 hours to just 9 hours.
One of the priority projects under the LSEN Program is the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road wherein the completion of Section 1, C3, Caloocan to España, Manila reduced travel time from Manila to NLEX from 45 minutes to 5 minutes. While the remaining 2.55 kilometer section is targeted to be completed in December 2023.
Another completed project is the 1.6 kilometer - E. Rodriguez to Merville Section of the C-5 South Link Expressway which was opened to traffic last August 14, 2022.
While, The Aliaga Interchange to San Juan Interchange Section of the Central Luzon Link Expressway and Subsection 4 –Silang (Aguinaldo) to Silang East Interchange of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway are targeted to be completed this year.
Another priority LSEN project is the extension of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) from Rosario to San Juan, La Union which was already approved by the Government last June 2023. The project aims to reduce travel time from Rosario La, Union to San Juan, La Union from 1 hour and 38 minutes to only 40 minutes
Metro Manila Logistics Improvement Program:
The Metro Manila Logistics Improvement Program involves the construction / improvement of 11 bridges (8,825 lineal meters) crossing Pasig river, Marikina river, and Manggahan floodway. Two (2) Design & Build Contracts for the construction of 3 new bridges crossing Pasig River and Manggahan floodway (North & South Harbor Bridge, Eastbank-Westbank Bridge 2 and Palanca-Villegas Bridge) started last April and May 2023.
Inter-Island Linkage Bridge Program:
The Inter-Island Linkage Bridge Program will provide seamless and inclusive connectivity thru the construction of 12 - short and long span bridges with an aggregate length of 90 kilometers.
The Government aims to obtain by November 2023 the loan approval for the civil works construction of the 32.15 kilometer - Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge. The completion of this mega bridge project will reduce travel time between Bataan and Cavite from 5 hours to less than 45 minutes.
The procurement of the Consulting Services for Detailed Engineering Design (DED) and Tender Assistance (TA) for the 32.47 kilometer - Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project is ongoing. Travel time from Panay Island to Negros Island will be shortened from the current 3-4 hours to about1 hour via the interlink bridges.
The 4.01 kilometer - Samal Island-Davao City Connector Bridge was broke ground last October 27, 2022. The project aims to reduce travel time from 55 minutes via RORO/ferry to 5 minutes.
The construction of Panguil Bay Bridge is targeted to be completed next year. Once completed, travel time between Tubod Municipality in Lanao Del Norte and Tangub City in Misamis Occidental will be reduced from 2.5 hours to just 7 minutes using the bridge.
Daang Maharlika (N1) and Nautical Highway Network Improvement Program:
DPWH will further improve and upgrade the main transportation artery of the country - the 3,082 kilometer - Daang Maharlika Highway (N1) which pays a vital role in disaster response and relief efforts, as it provides a primary means of transportation for emergency personnel, supplies, and evacuees during natural disasters.
Also, the widening, reconstruction, rehabilitation and upgrading of road sections and bridges along the 2,925 km. Nautical Highway Network is also being prioritized to improve inter-regional and inter-provincial connectivity.
Through the Build Better More program of the government, DPWH will continue and expand infrastructure development that will address the connectivity gap in the country and go beyond just building by incorporating sustainability, resiliency and advanced technology in infrastructure facilities.
Article courtesy of The Department of Public Works and Highways