Pandemic takes toll on multibillion projects in Ilocos Norte

Pandemic takes toll on multibillion projects in Ilocos Norte

LAOAG CITY – The ongoing health crisis has taken its toll on three giant projects in the province of Ilocos Norte due to delays in the delivery of equipment and construction materials, including skilled laborers, sourced by contractors from as far as Manila and Pampanga.

Assistant provincial engineer Lanie Daquioag confirmed this on Wednesday as she reported “there are some changes in the original plan and design.”

Known as the “Big 3” projects, the Provincial Engineering Office said the ongoing construction of the provincial capitol expansion building, reconstruction of the Dap-ayan Food Park, and the full rehabilitation of the President Ferdinand E. Marcos Memorial Stadium, all in the city of Laoag are merely about 10 percent complete.

Funded through a soft loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines during the last term of former governor and now senator Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos, the provincial government has allocated more than PHP1 billion for the rehabilitation of the Marcos Stadium while the construction of the provincial capitol expansion building and the reconstruction of Dap-ayan Food Park have an allocated amount of PHP640 million and PHP360 million, respectively.

These infra projects are part of the Metro Ilocos Norte master plan initiated by the senator, which is being carried out under the administration of Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc.

“There is a slight delay in starting the project as we have to consider the relocation of public utilities such as power, communication and water system including several trees which need to be cut in lieu of the construction of the extension building of the capitol,” Daquioag said.

Nonetheless, the Provincial Engineering Office assured that the contractors are doing their best to meet the time frame of the projects which is expected to be completed before the final term of Manotoc.

The construction works of the capitol expansion building and rehabilitation of the Marcos Stadium are expected to be completed within 425 calendar days while the Dap-ayan Center is projected to be finished within 730 calendar days.

Based on the master plan, the Dap-ayan Center is expected to rise as the tallest government building in the province — eight-story building — with basements for parking and major rooms for offices, among others.

The expansion building of the capitol will be built with the same height and design of the existing edifice.

On the other hand, the Marcos Stadium will be elevated one meter above the present road level. All buildings, offices, and bleachers were already demolished as of posting time. Leilanie Adriano / PNA –