1st district needs P325M to finish road widening-A A +A
Sunday, February 10, 2013
REP. Eduardo R. Gullas (Cebu, 1st district) yesterday said he was only able to raise P875 million out of the P1.2 billion needed for the widening of Cebu South Road from Tinaan, Naga City to Carcar City.
In a press conference, Gullas said that of the P875 million, P475 million came from various sources while the other P400 million was donated by Rep. Tomas R. Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) out of his pork barrel, which was originally intended for the construction of flyovers.
He said the project cannot be finished during his term, which is only up to noontime of June 30, 2013.
“It’s up to my grandson Samsam Gullas to raise the remaining P375 million, provided he gets one vote as required by the Comelec (Commission on Elections) for him to take oath as congressman on June 30,” Gullas said.
Samsam is running unopposed as congressman to succeed the elder Gullas, and he needs only one vote to become a lawmaker by July 1, 2013. Gullas is running for mayor of Talisay City.
History behind the donation
Gullas said Osmeña donated the amount during their meeting with Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson last year.
In that meeting, Gullas said he asked Singson if the latter’s department had savings that could be allocated to any district in the country at the end of the year.
“I told Singson if he could kindly consider providing funds for my district out of the savings. And he replied that ‘if there is any of your colleague who will give up projects, I will approve it immediately,’” Gullas said.
Gullas said Osmeña told Singson that he believes in his (Gullas) idea of widening the road from Naga to Carcar to attract investors and he was willing to give up his pork barrel worth P400 million, which was originally intended for flyovers.
The flyover projects were not implemented by DPWH due to the strong opposition of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and civil society groups.
Singson approved Osmeña’s donation of P400 million and instructed DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas to confer with Gullas on the matter.
“I informed Tom (Osmeña) that I already met Canlas and the road widening will push through. He requested me that he be allowed to attend the groundbreaking of the portion of the project funded by his congressional initiative,” Gullas said.
Gullas said the groundbreaking will be scheduled by Engineer Daisy Toledo of the DPWH 2nd Engineering District.
According to Gullas, DPWH is looking at how the project will be implemented smoothly considering that cutting of century-old trees that line a portion of the highway is prohibited under the law.
“In implementing the project, DPWH will face the usual problem of development against protection of the environment,” Gullas said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 10, 2013.