By Ben Rosario
A senior administration congressman on Wednesday called on the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) to summon the contractor of the P1.6 billion Ilagan-Divilacan Road in Isabela to explain its failure to complete the project which is long overdue.
Isabela Rep. Napoleon Dy, a senior member of the House Committee on Good Government and Accountability, said the construction was started as early as March 2006 but accomplishment remains below 50 percent.
“This is a classic example of a project that is overpriced, half-finished, anti-environment, and full of irregularities,” said Dy.
Once completed, the 82-kilometer road will connect Ilagan City to the towns of Divilacan and Maconacon. It starts in barangaya Cabisera 10 and Sindon Bayabo in Ilagan City and ends in barangay Dicatian in the coastal town of Divilacan.
“The project is only half-finished after the provincial government already spent P1.6 billion. If you do the math, that means that the administration of Gov. Faustino “Bojie” Dy III spent around P39 million for each kilometer,” said the legislator.
According to the solon, “the project is obviously overpriced. Even the initial costing of the project, which allocated P20 million per kilometer for road opening––not including concreting––is higher than the standards set by the DPWH.”
The legislator also questioned why the project was bid out to a third party contractor, Quezon City-based CM Pancho Construction, when P1 billion out of the provincial government’s P2.6 billion loan for the construction of the road was earmarked for the purchase of construction equipment for the province.
“Where is the billion peso worth of heavy equipment that were purchased with the funds? How much more does the provincial government need to complete this project, which is only half-done?” asked Dy.
The Isabela representative also demanded to know what the provincial government had done with the trees that were cut down to make way for the road network, which will pass through and along the Isabela National Park and Protected Area in the Sierra Madre mountain range.
“This is another concern with regard to this road, which could have an adverse effect on the environment in the area,” added Dy.
He challenged Gov. Dy and Vice Gov. Tonypet Albano to “come clean regarding this project, for the sake of transparency.”
“This is not about politics, this is about accountability and good governance. The billions loaned by the provincial government will be paid for by Isabela taxpayers, and they deserve to know what happened in this project.” Dy clarified.