Report delays road widening-A A +A
Sunday, March 3, 2013
A DELAYED liquidation report and wariness among owners of affected lots have stalled the Tayud-Consolacion-Liloan road widening project for three years now, an official said.
Work cannot proceed unless the road right-of-way (RROW) is acquired from the owners of lots that will be affected by the project.
Only then can the road widening go ahead, to complement the P2.2-billion, four-lane Cansaga Bay Bridge.
Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale asked Capitol officials, during a meeting last Monday, to address these two “roadblocks” as she hopes to persuade lot owners next week to cooperate.
“One problem is that the Provincial Government still has to liquidate P50 million that has already been downloaded,” said Magpale.
Once the Capitol liquidates the amount, another P100 million may be downloaded next.
The other problem is that lot owners want to get paid before they release their lots.
“Wa na sila’y pagsalig, (kay) daghan utang tingali ang Provincial Government (They no longer trust us, perhaps because the Provincial Government still owes a lot of people),” Magpale said.
When sought for his reaction, Engr. Adolfo Quiroga of the Provincial Planning and Development Office said this is the same problem that hounded the Capitol before.
He said the accounting department wanted the deed of sale to be signed before the Province will issue checks to pay these lot owners. But the lot owners refused.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has allotted P150 million for, among others, expropriating lots so the roads can be widened.
The expropriation will affect 278 lots: 158 parcels in Liloan and 120 parcels in Consolacion.
Magpale said that lot owners, as reported to her by Acting Provincial Engineer Hector Jamora, want to see the check before they will sign the deed of sale releasing portions of their lots to the government.
But what these lot owners want is not possible, she said, because the basis for preparing government checks is the signed deed of sale and other documents. She said the amount involved in the expropriation is some P3.9 million.
Meanwhile, the delay has taken its toll on motorists who have to deal with the traffic congestion.
“So in our last department heads’ meeting, we thought of a scheme. We will try to show them (lot owners) a voucher assuring them of payments,” said Magpale.
She assured that the Province will prioritize payments for the road right-of-way to complete the project. Magpale was designated as acting governor last Dec. 19, 2012, when a six-month preventive suspension order was left in Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s office.
DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas has also reportedly told Magpale that his performance rating in the agency dropped because of the project’s delay.
DPWH information officer Marie Mignon Nillama last month said the project was 68.88 percent behind target, even if funds were already released to the Capitol since 2011. She said the department is also asking for an update and Capitol’s liquidation report.
Done in 2010
Quiroga, who was then concurrent provincial engineer and chief of the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO), said everything is tied down “until the Province can pay for the affected properties.”
While the road-widening is stalled, all the materials for widening, paving and drainage facilities are standing by.
The widening project was meant to complement the Cansaga Bridge, which was completed in January 2010, and which opened an alternative route from Mandaue to the towns of Consolacion and Liloan.
The four-lane Cansaga Bridge connects to a four-lane road that leads to the United Nations Ave. in Mandaue City.
However, the other side of the bridge that leads to the towns of Consolacion and Liloan is only a two-lane road, which becomes a bottleneck during heavy traffic.
Magpale said she will urge the provincial engineer, since the Capitol implemented the project by administration, to liquidate the amount already released to the Capitol.
“Dugay na kaayo na (It has taken so long). That’s a three-year-old project, di ba?” Magpale said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 03, 2013.