The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said Monday, April 19, that it has completed several infrastructure projects nationwide despite restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Makikita po ‘yong kung gaano kalaki po ang difference sa project accomplishments since the start of your term, Mr. President. Halos times three po ‘yong project accomplishments under the Build, Build, Build and under your vision,” Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar told President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during a meeting.
From July 2016 to December 2020, Villar said the DPWH has completed the construction, rehabilitation, and improvement of 26,494 kilometers of roads, 5,555 bridges, and 10,376 flood control structures that improved travel time and ensured the safety of motorists.
Also, the DPWH has facilitated the completion of 144,925 classrooms, 2,036 school workshop buildings, and other school facilities. It also completed 187 evacuation centers throughout the country and expected to complete 130 additional facilities.
Villar also gave some updates on recently completed and ongoing major projects: P2.2 billion Urdaneta City By-pass Road, Bulacan Pulilan-Baliuag Diversion Road, TPLEX-Luzon Spine Expressway Network, NLEX Harbor Link and extension, Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, San Fernando By-pass Road, Bulacan Arterial Road, Sariaya By-pass Road, and Sorsogon City Coastal By-Pass Road.
Meanwhile, Villar said the BGC-Ortigas Center Link Roads connecting Taguig, Makati and Pasig City, will be opened for public use by June this year. The project could improve traffic condition in EDSA’s Guadalupe section.
The Binondo-Intramuros Bridge is already 60 percent, Villar reported, noting around 30,000 vehicles would benefit from the infrastructure. The project will be completed by the end of the year.
Another China-funded project, the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge connecting the cities of Mandaluyong and Makati, may be ready for public use by the second quarter of this year.
The Alabang-Sucat Extension, South Link, and Cavite-Laguna Expressway may also be opened this year, Villar said.
Flood risk projects in Cavite and Cagayan de Oro City are also expected to be finished this year, Villar said, adding the construction of the Davao City Coastal Road, and 11-kilometer Samar Pacific Coastal Road are also ongoing.
Villar also told the President that the DPWH has finished a P1-billion project for the rehabilitation of Marawi City and its surrounding areas.
“Ito po ay grant na galing sa Japan. Natapos na po ‘yong mga contract packages including for the road sections with the total length of 18 kilometers. So tapos na po ito at ready na po — anytime we can — puwede pong i-inaugurate,” he said.
The DPWH is a major stakeholder in the government’s fight against the coronavirus. Villar said the department aims to build 816 quarantine facilities next month for infected individuals, which will add 27,262 new beds.
A total of 187 evacuation centers built by the DPWH throughout the country are also being used as quarantine centers.
To address the shortage of health facilities for COVID-19 patients, the DPWH targets to build next month 24 additional modular hospitals with 547 bed capacities. PND