City Hall ready to yield roads

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Sunday, May 11, 2014


SOME road projects proposed by the Cebu City Development Council (CDC) cannot be funded by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) until these roads are converted into national roads, an official said.

But still, DPWH Cebu City Engineering District Engineer Fernando Cruz said these CDC-endorsed projects are listed by his agency under the 2015 Priority Appropriation Programs (PAPs).

Cruz gave the clarification in answer to Cebu City Councilor Gerardo Carillo, who had asked what has happened to the CDC-endorsed projects.

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Carillo said that the CDC asked DPWH this year for P1.148 billion worth of projects, which will include widening and concreting of the Bacayan-Pit-os Road (P225 million), Talamban-Bacayan Road (80 million) and Banilad-Talamban Road (P20 million).

The other proposed road projects mentioned by Carillo are the concreting of V. Sotto
St. (P25 million), concreting of Arellano Blvd. (P10 million) and dredging of Subangdaku River (P20 million), among others.

Carillo said that the council is willing to discuss the DPWH’s suggestion to convert the local roads to national roads so the agency can set aside funds for the projects.

Cruz said the proposed projects were first submitted by the CDC to the Regional Development Council (RDC) and subsequently endorsed to the DPWH central office for validation and evaluation.

This is for possible inclusion of these projects in the DPWH Regular Infrastructure Program, to be funded from the General Appropriations Act—although there is no assurance because of the status of the roads.

“This office is not sure if those projects will be funded since the mandate of DPWH is to pave roads categorized as national roads. Most of the submitted listed projects endorsed by CDC fall under the local roads category and these are not in the purview of the department,” Cruz said.

“We understand that before the national government will include projects for funding, those roads should be converted first to national roads, following the requirements for conversion,” Cruz said.

If local roads are converted to national roads, the responsibility for improving these roads—which include widening, concreting or constructing drainage beside it—would be transferred from the local government unit (LGU) concerned to DPWH.

As a result, DPWH will include these activities under its regular infrastructure program to be funded under the General Appropriations Act, which Congress handles every year.

It is the DPWH central office, not regional or district offices, that determine which projects to prioritize, Cruz said.

But he also said it was sad to know that while many projects in different categories were endorsed to the DPWH central office, only a few were included.

He pointed out that DPWH 7 had endorsed 32 project proposals for 2014, but only four were eventually included for funding.

Cruz also answered questions on the simultaneous scraping or scarifying of old asphalt pavements in the ongoing asphalting of roads in Cebu.

“Scarifying the old asphalt is necessary to level the surface,” Cruz said.

“This is also to minimize the raising of the existing road elevation beyond the level of the existing curb and gutter where our inlets and manholes are provided, whose function is to take charge of the run-off during heavy downpour,” Cruz added.

Interviewed separately, Councilor Carillo said that a resolution endorsing the conversion from local to national roads, approved by the council, is the only requirement to push through with the plan.

“If only they had told us earlier, we could have sponsored right away a resolution,” Carillo said.

Carillo said that the DPWH can always tap the City and inform them of what is needed to hasten the release of funds for certain projects.

“This only shows that they (DPWH) are not coordinating with us,” he added.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 12, 2014.

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