Saturday, January 11, 2020

More infra, development projects for Cebu

CEBU CITY - The province of Cebu concluded 2019 with a bullish investment program on infrastructure development aimed at addressing traffic congestion and flooding.

“In the pipeline are the big-ticket projects which the Duterte administration is determined to finance to boost socio-economic development in Central Visayas and to ease our burden due to traffic problem,” said Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas.

He said at least 7 big-ticket projects include infrastructure development programs aimed at addressing traffic congestion in Metro Cebu. Among the projects is the 73-kilometer Metro Cebu Expressway that will span from Naga City in the south to Danao City in the north is a long high standard arterial road to meet existing and future traffic demands.

The P28-billion expressway project which traverses mountain slopes in Cebu is expected to serve as another north-south backbone highway aimed to provide seamless traffic flow from Naga City to Danao City.

Next to the expressway is the Talisay-Minglanilla-Naga and Mandaue-Consolacion-Liloan bypass roads worth P200 million each. The roads are expected to ease the traffic situation in Metro Cebu and are on the list of the proposed priority programs of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-7) and included in the budget proposal of the DPWH central office for fiscal year 2020.

Apart from these two bypass roads, the Guadalupe-Lahug Diversion Road is also among the infrastructure projects of DPWH-7 that will ease the traffic flow around the uptown district of this city.

Edgar Tabacon, DPWH-7 regional director, said the detailed engineering design for the P40-million diversion road project is part of the list of projects included in the 2020 budget proposal of the DPWH central office. The General Appropriations Act of 2019 allocated P90 million for the detailed engineering design of the Metro Cebu Flood Control and Drainage Master Plan, he said.

The provincial government of Cebu, through a resolution sponsored by Provincial Board Member Glenn Anthony Soco, encouraged local governments to align their respective drainage and flood projects to the master plan.

Dino said the Mandaue-Mactan link bridge with a segment for the Mandaue Coastal Road is also a high impact project to be funded through the Official Development Assistance from the Japanese government.

He said the New Cebu International Container Port in Talisay City which is now under construction is also expected to decongest both the container yard in the existing Cebu International Port and the traffic congestion along the service road that runs parallel with the Sergio OsmeƱa Street leading to a big mall at the North Reclamation Area and Mandaue Reclamation Area.

The Regional Development Council-7 has also endorsed P167.9-billion worth of programs, activities and projects for the Central Visayas with the biggest chunk worth P90 billion represents allocation for Cebu’s development program.

About 65 percent of the P90 billion will go to Cebu’s infrastructure program, while P30 billion for social development, P846.1 million for economic enterprises and P344.5 million for development administration, according to Dino.

He said among the projects to be funded is the construction of fire stations in Sibonga in Santa Fe, Aloguinsan, Poro in Camotes; Tuburan, Minglanilla and the rehabilitation of the Bureau of Fire Protection regional office here.

The body also endorsed the proposed construction of the regional office of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and the construction of jail facilities in Carcar City, Argao, Barili, Oslob in the south and Carmen, Lapu-Lapu City, Cordova, Consolacion and Bogo in the north.

Dino said under the health facilities and enhancement program of the Department of Health (DOH-7), Cebu has requested P539 million for infrastructure, P260 million for equipment, P44 million for medical transport.

Imelda Laseras, regional director of the Department of Budget Management (DBM-7), reminded the government agencies to endorse implementation-ready projects.

For his part, Tabacon said the DPWH-7 is already conducting parcellary survey and appraisal of properties affected in the projects that they will implement in 2020. "We will already prepare the offer to pay the owner of the properties. Those who refused, we prepared expropriation case to be filed in court upon approval of the 2020 budget,” he said.

While he admitted that right of way acquisition was the challenge they are facing, Tabacon said they are exerting all efforts to address this issue on infrastructure development for the benefit of the public. (John Rey Saavedra)

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