Flyover funds get sent back-A A +A
Monday, March 4, 2013
THE P150 million allocated for a flyover project has been returned to the National Treasury, an official of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.
DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas said there is a separate appropriation for a project in the same area, the intersection of Gen. Maxilom Ave. and M.J. Cuenco Ave. in Cebu City, but it will be for road widening, not a flyover.
Canlas said the road widening project will be implemented this year.
During a recent meeting of the Infrastructure Development Committee of the Regional Development Council (IDC-RDC), Engr. Nonato Paylado of DPWH 7 said that only the road widening will push through.
About P180 million has been set aside for it.
Paylado said the widening project has been bid out and the issues on road right-of-way and heritage conservation are about to be resolved.
Canlas explained that the P150 million to start work on the flyover was included in the 2011 General Appropriations Act (GAA), but opposition from civil society groups like the Movement for a Livable Cebu (MLC) compelled the agency to reconsider.
The MLC has questioned the need for the proposed flyover projects on Ouano Ave. near Parkmall in Mandaue City; and on Gorordo Ave. near the Asilo dela Milagrosa in Barangay Camputhaw, and Gorordo Ave. near the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Lahug, both in Cebu City.
In June 2012, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson informed Mark Canton, the lead convenor of MLC, that the proposed flyover at the intersection of Gorordo and M.J. Cuenco can be implemented, subject to an initial road widening project.
But Canlas said the P150 million for the flyover was already returned to the National Treasury after the project remained stalled last Dec. 31, 2012.
GAA allocations for 2012, such as the funds for the road widening, will lapse on Dec. 31, 2013.
Told about the development, Louella Alix of the Movement for a Livable Cebu (MLC) said this was good news for the MLC.
“But we hope that the budget for the widening would include a better intersection design. Our urban planners are willing to help in that respect,” Alix said.
“We see this as another proof of the responsiveness of DPWH to reasonable citizen concerns,” Alix added.
Marc Canton, also of the MLC, said they are happy that the flyover budget has been returned to the National Treasury.
“We hope the widening will be designed according to rigorous traffic studies and public consultations. We applaud DPWH’s ability to listen to its constituency and we renew our offer to help them with engineering, planning and other technical expertise,” Canton said.
Meanwhile, DPWH has not endorsed for inclusion in the 2014 GAA the proposed reopening of the roads from Barangay Guadalupe to Barangay Lahug, because these are not under the agency.
The reopening of the roads, which will be parallel to Escario St., was recommended by the IDC to decongest the Capitol area.
Canlas, however, said that even without the endorsement of DPWH, this can still be included in the 2014 GAA through other agencies.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 04, 2013.