July 31, 2012
31,242 kilometers national roads to be fully
All 31,242 kilometers of national primary and secondary roads will be completely rehabilitated and paved before President Aquino's term ends in 2016, Senate Finance Committee chairman Franklin M. Drilon said today.
At the committee's performance review of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Secretary Rogelio Singson said they intend to improve and rehabilitate 7,232.82 kilometers of national roads that remain unpaved until 2016.
Of the 7,232 kilometers, 1,878.66 kilometers are arterial roads which the DPWH plans to be 100 percent paved until 2014. So far, they have already paved 535.09 kms as of June 2012, noted Drilon.
On the other hand, 5,360.16 kilometers belong to secondary roads and will be paved until 2016. As of June 2012, they have concreted about 1,034.15 kilometers, added Drilon.
Singson also told Drilon the roads being constructed by the present government are 11-inch thick, 3 inches thicker as compared to old 8 inches standard thickness of roads. This is equivalent to 280 millimeters from old standard of 230 millimeters. Farm to market roads were also upgraded to 8 inches from 6 inches standard thickness.
"This is a major indicator of our performance," said Singson.
Also, the DPWH is in full swing in upgrading of national bridges throughout the country, especially the conversion of temporary bridges made of wood to permanent.
"Our program until 2016, we're working on 117,000 lineal meters of bridges. They are in different classifications: rehabilitation, widening, new construction, replacement of damaged and temporary bridges," explained Singson.
The Public Works 2012 budget amounts P126.4 billion and will increase by 22.97 percent or equivalent to P152.9 billion in 2013. Capital outlay will significantly increase by P41 billion from its present allocation of P99.5 billion which is composed of P124.86 billion for locally-funded projects from P82.8 billion in 2012 and P15.7 billion foreign-assisted projects from P16.6 billion this year, noted Drilon.
"What is significant here is that good portion of this will be funded from the budget from locally-generated funds, not from foreign-assisted projects," said Drilon.
Meanwhile, Drilon extolled the increasing utilization rate of the DPWH thereby addressing the issue of slow implementation of its projects.
"We should note the tremendous improvement in the fund utilization by the DWPH under the leadership of Secretary Singson. Last year, for the first semester, the report was that the totalfund disbursement was P26 billion, but this year, for the same period, the total disbursement is P64 billion which means an improvement of 250 percent increase," ended Drilon.
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