DPWH chief, 'Build Build Build' program head inspect dev't projects in N. Samar

Published December 3, 2021, 3:11 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Top officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) visited different government projects in Northern Samar on Thursday, Dec. 2, including the 11.60-kilometer road project that will connect the “Pacific Towns” of Laoang and Palapag.

DPWH Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado and ‘Build Build Build’ program chief implementer Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain had an ocular inspection of the road project which was already 59 percent completed.

Department of Public Works and Highways Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado, left, and Undersecretary and Chief Implementer of the ‘Build Build Build’ program Emil K. Sadain inspect an ongoing road development project in Northern Samar. (DPWH Photo)

They also visited the on-going Simora Bridge in Laoang, one of the three bridges that will be constructed under the Samar Provincial Coastal Road (SPCR) Project.

Mercado, who hails from Eastern Visayas, said the project will help several less accessible areas of Northern Samar to reach their potential as one of the significant contributors to the region’s and country’s economic development.

The SPCR — which is part of the legacy project of President Duterte’s administration — can “lead to peace with the accessibility to enhance the delivery of needed goods and services that will stimulate economic growth and reduce the problem of isolation in which illegal armed groups and bandits thrive,” Sadain said.

“The biggest challenge by far was the adverse weather condition including 29 typhoons since [the] project started in 2018 that disrupted 810 days of the work schedule, and the insurgency problem in one of the most dangerous road project in the Philippines,” said Sadain, who heads the Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations which implements DPWH flagship infrastructure projects funded by Official Development Assistance.

The SPCR Project, which will eventually establish a circumferential road loop of Samar Island, is financed by a loan agreement with the Korean Economic Development Cooperation Fund.

The SPCR Project begins at the Simora Junction, Laoang and traverses to the remote villages of Laoang and Palapag. The project also covers the construction of three bridges, namely the 161m Simora Bridge, 31m Jangtud 1 Bridge, and 69m Jangtud 2 Bridge.

With a total paved road length of 7.1-kilometer and the construction of Simora Bridge at 90 percent and Jangtud Bridge 1 and 2 at 62 and 38 percent, respectively, the SPCR project is targeted for completion by June 2022.

Meanwhile, a feasibility study for SPCR Phase 2 was already completed which will cover the improvement of existing 15km of road and construction of Laoang 2 and Calomotan Bridges.

The project will enter a detailed engineering design stage and target for civil works implementation by 2023.