CAPIZ — President Benigno S. Aquino III led the inauguration of the 6,200th kilometer of paved national roads here on Tuesday.
The road upgrading of Jct. National Road Mianay-Duyoc – Calaan-Panitan Road was carried out by the Capiz 2nd District Engineering Office.
The Php 151.68-million project, implemented in five phases with Phase 5 still ongoing, covers a total of 8,040.3 linear meters. It will finally connect with the same road project under the jurisdiction of the Capiz 1st District Engineering Office.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which implemented the first phase in 2012, has already completed Phases 2, 3 and 4. The department bid out the fifth phase in November last year.
Upon the completion of the project, the government expects the travel time from Jct. Mianay, Sigma in Capiz 2nd District to Panitan town in Capiz 1st District to be reduced from one hour to 30 minutes.
Neighboring towns and provinces will also benefit as a result of the shorter travel time that would enable farmers and producers to bring their products to the market and warehouses more quickly by bypassing the town of Ivisan or Barangay Timpas in Panitan.
Those coming from central Iloilo can also now take a shorter route to the northern portion of Iloilo province.
In briefing President Aquino, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson said that at the start of administration in 2010, the DPWH promised to complete 7,200 kilometers of national roads.
“Nakagawa na po kami ng 6,200 kilometers magmula ‘nung nag-umpisa, pero maliban po riyan, nakadagdag na po kami ng 1,500 kilometers of road na napapakinabangan na po ng mga mamamayan, lalong-lalo na ang ating mga turista nationwide,” Singson told the President.
He further noted that the DPWH has already surpassed its quota of 7,200 kilometers of roads by completing 7,700 kilometers. This figure, he said, is separate from more than 2,000 kilometers of farm-to-market roads already completed.
Singson also reported that in Panay Island, out of a total of 1,783 kilometers of national roads, the DPWH has already paved 1,729 kilometers of roads as of last November.
He said the remaining 54 kilometers will be completed by the DPWH this year.
Singson also said that in terms of budgetary allocation to Panay Island, the government had allotted Php 15.5 billion from 2005 to 2010, compared to Php 42 billion from 2011 to 2016 under the Aquino administration. PNA / nortboundasia.com