TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Public and Highways (DPWH) will carry out a P23.48 billion worth of infrastructure projects here in the region for this year as the national government accelerates investment to upgrade national highways and build more bypass roads.
This year’s budget is higher by P2 billion compare to last year, said Engr. Virgilio Eduarte, DPWH assistant regional director.
“Our budget has been increasing every year to support the national and regional plans to bring about more economic opportunities in the country through infrastructure development,” Eduarte said.
About half of the budget for the region will be managed by the department’s 13 district engineering offices in six provinces – Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, and Southern Leyte.
A big chunk of the 2017 outlay will be supervised by the regional office.
The DPWH is tasked to implement 834 projects this year. About 520 of these were already bid out as of end of Jan. 31.
Among the major projects that will be funded this year are the on-going 6.4 kilometer four-lane Tacloban bypass road and the 1.84 km. four- lane Palo West bypass road, which will be completed in the second quarter of 2017.
The department proposed extending these by-pass roads up to the junction of San Juanico Bridge to complement the proposed international seaport to be constructed in nearby Babatngon town in Leyte.
The DPWH regional office also proposed the extension of by-pass roads that would link to this major project.
“This is in compliance to Secretary Mark Villar’s directive to decongest traffic through construction of by-pass roads in populated areas,” Eduarte added.
The official also confirmed that there is on-going feasibility study for the construction of Sogod bypass road in Southern, Leyte.
Also listed as 2017 priority is the Leyte tide embankment project designed to shield communities hit when supertyphoon “Yolanda” pummeled the province with an allocation of P700 million for this year alone.
The said project has a total budget of P7.9 billion.
Other priority projects for the year are road widening, bridge reconstruction, flood control structures, and preventive maintenance.