With multi-billion projects in the pipelines

TACLOBAN CITY– The head of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Eastern Visayas said that they are optimistic that several of their lined up big ticket projects for the region would be completed before the end of the term of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in 2028.

The President’s mother, former first lady Imelda Marcos, is from Leyte who include House Speaker Martin Romualdez among the province’s five congressional representatives.
Engr. Edgar Tabacon, the regional director of the DPWH for Eastern Visayas, disclosed that they have several big ticket projects that they hope to be completed before the end of the term of the Marcos administration.

For this year, the DPWH in the region was given an allocation of P58.6 billion, which is not enough to finance these big projects as these are also to be used for the construction or maintenance of their other projects like roads and bridges, health facilities, and schools, among others, Tabacon said.

Tabacon said that the release on the funding of these projects are being done by phases reason why these projects are delayed or behind their schedule of completion.

“(But) we are hopeful that considering that our current House Speaker is from Leyte and we have a President who is also considered to be a son of the region, these big- ticket projects or at least some of them would be (completed) by 2028,” Tabacon said on Tuesday during a media conference sponsored by the Philippine Information Agency.

Among these big-ticket projects now in various stages of construction are the causeway project in Tacloban with a budget allocation of P4.5 billion; Tacloban by-pass extension, P3.8 billion; Tacloban-Palo diversion road project, P3.8 billion; Basey (Samar-Maydolong (Eastern Samar) project, P2.74 billion; and the Samar Island Medical Center at P3.8 billion.
Also in the pipeline is the ‘total’ rehabilitation of the Maharlika Highway in the region which needs an allocation of more than P29.7 billion.

Projects that were started before the start of the Marcos administration like the Leyte tide embankment project are also seen to be completed under the current administration, Tabacon said.

The Leyte tide embankment project was started during the Aquino administration and continued during the Duterte administration but has only managed to cover a length of 19.5 km out of its projected length of more than 38 kms covering the towns of Palo and Tanauan and Tacloban City.

The project was conceptualized after these three areas were heavily devastated by storm surges when Leyte was pummeled by Super Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ in November 8, 2013.
Its total budget requirement was placed at more than P9 billion with funding released at only P3.8 billion so far.