We march on towards progress for the nation! Here’s a quick recap on recent infrastructure news concerning roads, railway systems, infra business, and quarantine facility construction.
P1.2-B allocated for feasibility studies of 82 infrastructure projects across the Philippines
Timely studies are crucial to successful project development as they lay the foundation for the implementation of the civil works phase, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar. Thus, a total of PHP1.23 billion under the 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA) has been allocated for the feasibility studies of 82 infrastructure projects nationwide.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said over 80 projects are now under feasibility studies, preliminary and detailed engineering design, economic analysis, technical studies, and traffic impact assessment.
Quezon to Rizal MRT Line expected to begin construction in 2023
The Department of Transportation expects construction of the planned Metro Rail Transit Line 4 (MRT 4) from Quezon City to Rizal province to begin in 2023. However, the detailed engineering design phase will be launched within the year.
New railways for commuters to use in the future.
Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said during a briefing last February that the P59.3-billion project is being supported by the Asian Development Bank, which will procure the detailed design and engineering consultant within March. These railway projects will soon cut massive costs associated with urban congestion.
MinDA forms IMAG, a local body to monitor delayed infra projects in Mindanao
The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will formally organize the Davao del Norte Infrastructure Monitoring and Advisory Group (IMAG) on Wednesday to oversee the implementation of major infrastructure projects , including the PHP20-B Davao City-Samal Island Bridge.
“The Davao del Norte IMAG will be the first of the monitoring groups to be organized in the different provinces of Mindanao to monitor the progress and development of key infrastructure projects, many of which have suffered delays,” MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said last February 21. The organization of the Davao Del Norte IMAG was agreed upon between MinDA, Governor Edwin Jubahib, and project engineers of the DPWH involved in the Davao-Samal Bridge project.
The IMAG will be headed by Governor Jubahib along with different agencies of government, especially DPWH, the religious sector, the mayors of the towns where the project is located, and civic organizations as members. The group was said to have been effective in giving stakeholders greater involvement in the monitoring of major infrastructure projects, according to the MinDA Secretary.
DPWH completes quarantine and isolation facilities
The DPWH has completed and turned over several facilities for the COVID-19 pandemic in the past month.
Last February 24, the agency announced that they had turned over P41.98 million worth of new isolation facilities to the municipal government of Mariveles, Bataan. Three clusters of 20-foot container vans were customized into emergency health facilities equipped with air conditioning, living quarters, ramps for PWDs, and essential clinical amenities. The facility provides a centralized hallway passage and a portable generator set, according to Ulysses Llado, head of the DPWH Bataan 2nd District Engineering Office.
New facility in Mariveles. Photo courtesy of the DPWH
In Bislig City, the DPWH has turned over a 54-bed capacity quarantine facility to the city of Bislig, Surigao Del Sur. Secretary Mark Villar has stated that the facility houses a three-unit building that has been duly classified under the Department of Health’s plans and specifications. Based on the guidelines from the health department, Villar said Building A will serve as the staff house, kitchen, and dining area, while buildings B and C will house male and female patients, respectively.
“The facility will meet the demands for healthcare utilization and provide comfort and security for patients while on recovery from the COVID-19 virus” said Villar.
The Surigao del Sur health facility has 13 air-conditioning units, 16 closed-circuit television cameras, a cistern tank, solar-powered LED street lights and floodlights.
New facility in Surigao Del Sur. Photo courtesy of the DPWH
Newly-built quarantine facilities were also turned over to two municipalities in Guimaras. One is a 20-room facility constructed in Barangay McLain, sixteen of which are for asymptomatic patients. The remaining four will be for utility purposes for the personnel in charge of the facility, according to Mayor Eugenio Reyes of Buenavista. The other recipient of the facility is for the municipality of Jordan, Guimaras.
New facilities in Guimaras. Photo courtesy of the DPWH
Completion of three concrete paving projects in the Isabela Province
The new roads are a sight for those traveling along the Isabela Province. DPWH announced last February 16, 2021 the completion of three concrete paving works along these roads: 493.5-linear meter Mataas na Kahoy-St. Domingo Local Road in Alicia; 734.5-linear meter Barangay La Paz Road in Cabatuan; and, 899.3-linear meter Malasin-Salinungan West Farm Market Road in San Mateo.
According to Secretary Villar, these improved roads now bring a number of benefits to provinces, providing easier access to schools and healthcare facilities, as well as easing local produce transport efforts.
Fresh new roads courtesy of the DPWH.
Toll-free expressway from Tarlac City to Aliaga, Nueva Ecija to open on May 15
In a statement posted on DPWH’s Facebook page last February 14, Mark Villar shared that the new 18-kilometer toll-free expressway is set to open on May 15, 2021. The P11 billion Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) project is expected to reduce travel time between the provinces of Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. The CLLEX is a section from the connection of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) in Balingcanaway, Tarlac City.
A portion of the CLLEX project. Photo courtesy of the DPWH
Secretary Mark Villar has also added that a new toll-free expressway from Tarlac City will be open to the public up to Aliaga, Nueva Ecija by May 15, 2021.
“Within the next 90 days, the 18-kilometer section from the connection of SCTEX and TPLEX in Balingcanaway, Tarlac City, up to Aliaga Interchange of the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) Project Phase 1 will be substantially completed,” the agency said.
The project is just one of the many infrastructure projects under the Build, Build, Build program. The DPWH anticipates that these new roads will boost eco-tourism and provide a better, faster route for business travels and local produce transport.