TACLOBAN CITY- The Eastern Visayas Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) has welcomed the recent approval on the extension of validity of Korean-funded $20.63-million loan for the Samar Pacific Coastal Road.
In a meeting held Wednesday, RPMC chair and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Director Bonifacio Uy said the extension will ensure the improvement of the 109.3 kilometers road.
The extension will cover civil works for the 11.3-kilometer unpaved section of the coastal road and construction of three bridges. These projects are not included in the original proposal.
“The Samar Pacific Coastal Road will eventually complete the circumferential road loop for Samar Island. This will enhance the development of potential agricultural lands and fishing grounds of Eastern Samar and Northern Samar provinces,” Uy said.
The approval has paved the way for the Department of Public Works and Highways to award the contract for the project before Christmas holidays, he said.
The NEDA-Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee has approved last December 6 the loan validity extension of the foreign-funded project from Jan. 18, 2018 to Jan. 17, 2020.
The extension of the implementation from September 2017 – July 2019 to January 2018 – December 2019 was also approved.
The project has been delayed due to security issues, bidding failures, concerns on hiring of consulting services, and late submission of deliverable bidding documents.
The Korea Export-Import Bank-Economic Development Cooperation Fund Loan No. Phl-14 was signed on Aug. 19, 2013 and took effect on Jan. 17, 2014 with the original closing date of January 16, 2018.
The DPWH completed the detailed engineering design last Oct. 8, 2015. Pre-procurement conference for selection of contractors was held Jan. 11, 2017, followed by a pre-bid conference on February 7 and submission of technical and financial proposal on February 28.
The government submitted the report to the Korean bank on Mar. 25, 2017 and was concurred last July 5, 2017.
The fund will also be used for civil works, payment of consulting services, and for contingencies.
The foreign-funded project is on top of the ongoing works for the Arteche-Jipapad-Las Navas-Catubig-Rawis that link Eastern Samar and Northern Samar provinces. (SARWELL Q. MENIANO/PNA)