Key road projects in Zamboanga Peninsula will meet their target completion dates despite the coronavirus disease pandemic, the Department of Public Works and Highways said Tuesday.
Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said the construction three core subprojects under the Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project (IGCMRSP) are being implemented amid the current public health crisis.
These projects are the Alicia-Malangas Road (PR 06) and Lutiman – Guicam – Olutanga Road (PR 09) in the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay; and Tampilisan – Sandayong Road (PR 07) in the Province of Zamboanga del Norte.
Undersecretary Emil Sadain recently led a series of monitoring visits in the region to check on the projects and met with contractors and consultants to address the challenges of the project implementation and ensure that the projects will meet their respective deadlines.
“The meeting is of paramount importance to continually assess and discuss challenges of project implementation in view of establishing a common strategy to early management of problems and for the DPWH project team on the ground to understand the impact of delays or opportunities presented by completing work ahead of schedule,” Sadain said.
The P25.257-billion IGCMRSP, according to Sadain, is funded with a loan amounting P19.080 billion by the Asian Development Bank and P6.117 billion to be funded by the Government of the Philippines.
It is composed of seven road sections with a total length of 166.94 kilometers and Guicam Bridge with a length of 540.8 lineal meters, all located in Zamboanga Peninsula and three bridges with a length of 1,047.40 lineal meter in Tawi-Tawi Province.
“The project aims to enhance and hasten economic development, reduce the travel time, provide safe and efficient travel, and improve peace and order situation in Mindanao,” the undersecretary said.
Major works for the Alicia-Malangas Road includes construction of 23.73-km concrete road traversing 15 barangays of the municipalities of Alicia and Malangas.
A total of P1.319 billion is allocated for the project which is scheduled for completion by March 2022. It also covers the replacement of eight bridges and improvement of existing drainage and slope protection structures.
The P623.260-million Tampilisan – Sandayong road project, on the other hand, covers the upgrading of 15.07-km existing combined barangay and municipal roads generally made up of gravel. It is expected to be completed by September 2021. It will provide a direct link between Dipolog and Pagadian cities by-passing Ipil, the capital town of Zamboanga Sibugay.
It starts at the junction of the Dipolog-Ipil National Highway and the Sto. Nino barangay road traversing Barangays New Dapitan, Poblacion, Farmington, Situbo and ends at Barangay Sandayong’s road crossing with road to Naga town proper, Zamboanga Sibugay.
The P989.69-million Lutiman – Guicam – Olutanga Road involves the concrete paving of 29.10-km of national tertiary road made up of gravel and construction of a 60.98-lineal meter bridge following the existing alignment traversing the municipalities of Alicia, Mabuhay, Talusan and Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay Province. It will lead to a ferry operation at Guicam Channel of about 440-meter channel width to connect Guicam to Mabuhay in Olutanga Island.
The project is aimed for completion by September 2021.
The proposed Guicam Bridge Project, however, is currently under procurement stage. It involves the construction of 540-lineal meter bridge that will link Barangay Lutiman, Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay and Olutanga port.
Other sections included in the ADB funded projects located in Zamboanga Del Norte, Zamboanga City and Zamboanga Sibugay are: 14.72-km Gutalac Baliguian Alternate Road (PR-1a); 32.31-km R.T. Lim Siocon Road (PR-08); 33.08-km Curuan – Sibuco Road; and 18.93-km Siay- Gapol Road.
Three bridges will also be built in Tawi-Tawi province. These are the Nalil- Sikkiat Bridge over Bongao Channel; Tongsinah Paniongan Bridge over Sanga Sanga channel; and Malassa- Lupa Pula Bridge over Manalik Channel to mainland Tawi-Tawi Island. (Betheena Unite)