Over 9K km of roads completed under ‘Build, Build, Build’
By Ferdinand Patinio
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar on Friday said close to 10,000 kilometers of roads have been completed since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed in June 2016.
In a statement, Villar said of the 9,845 km of roads completed, 1,096 km are farm-to-market roads, 589 km are missing links, 418 km are bypasses or diversion roads, 220 km lead to airports and seaports, 175 km lead to economic zones and 961 km lead to declared tourism destinations.
A total of 1,121 km was maintained, 2092.89 km widened and 1,361 km rehabilitated and upgraded.
These includes the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10, the Cavite Laguna Expressway, the Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway, the Laguna Lake Highway, the Candon City Bypass Road in Ilocos Sur, the Slaughter-House Road in Davao City, the Pulilan-Baliuag Diversion Road in Bulacan, the Calapan-Roxas Road in Oriental Mindoro, the Mandaue Causeway Road in Cebu, the Dipolog-Oriquieta Road in Misamis Occidental, the Dumaguete North Road in Negros Oriental, and the Taytay-El Nido Road in Palawan.
Villar added that 2,709 bridges, 4,536 flood control projects, 82 evacuation centers, and 71,803 classrooms have been finished under the “Build, Build, Build” program.
Of the 2,709 bridges, 462 were widened, 108 constructed, 1,642 bridges strengthened, and 155 replaced. About 342 local bridges were also built.
These include the Marcos Bridge in Marikina, the Pigalo Bridge in Isabela, Anduyan Bridge in La Union, the Bolo-Bolo Bridge in Misamis Oriental, the Caguray Bridge in Occidental Mindoro, the Pasac-Culcul in Pampanga, the Maddiangat Bridge in Nueva Viscaya and the Pigalo Bridge in Isabela.
A total of 4,536 flood mitigation structures were completed since June 2016 to expand protected flood-prone areas across the country.
These include the pumping stations at Barangays Wawang Polo and Coloong, the Flood Risk Management Project for the Cagayan River, the Flood Risk Management Project for the Tagoloan River, the Leyte Tide Embankment Project and the Pasig Marikina River Flood Control Project.
Meanwhile, to address the gap in physical facilities required for elementary and secondary schools nationwide, Villar noted that a total of 71,803 classrooms were constructed, benefiting more than 3.2 million learners. Another 67,608 classrooms are in various stages of implementation.
These accomplishments have eased the classroom congestion, from a ratio of 1 classroom to 35 learners in 2016 to 1 classroom to 28 learners in 2018.
These include the National High School in Alaminos, Pangasinan, the Alejandra Navarro National High School in Davao City and the Bagong Pag-Asa Elementary School.
“The ‘Build, Build, Build’ program is composed of thousands of projects meant to improve connectivity, facilitate growth in every province across the country. In DPWH alone, we are currently implementing at least 20,000 projects under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program,” Villar said.
“In 2018 alone, the DPWH disbursed PHP590 billion with absorptive capacity of 92.6 percent. This is the highest recorded disbursement in the history of the Department,” he added.
The “Build, Build, Build” program is in furtherance to the medium-term goal to increase infrastructure spending — from 5.4 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017 to 7.3 percent by the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022.
The Philippines has only allocated an average of 2.4 percent of the GDP for infrastructure in the span of six administrations in the last 50 years.
“The 100 flagship projects, which is a subset of the BBB program, are the most important, game-changing projects that will have the biggest impact for many Filipinos,” Villar added. (PNA)