P50-M fund sought for accident-prone road-A A +A
Monday, July 16, 2012
THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Eastern Visayas sought some P50-million funding from the National Government to divert an accident-prone road section in Pintuyan, Southern Leyte.
Fourteen people were killed, while 10 others were injured in this road section, known as a “saddle road,” for the past three years.
“There has been clamor to improve the road condition. More and more people have been passing the area since this is part of the road that leads to the newly operational Benit-San Ricardo roll-on roll-off ports,” DPWH Regional Director Rolando Asis said.
The DPWH sent last week the budget request, including the program of work, to its central office. This is to finance the construction of the proposed two-kilometer alternative road.
San Ricardo hosts one of the country’s nautical highways. The port is now being preferred as the new gateway to Mindanao, considering that it is just 45 minutes away from Surigao City compared to three hours boat ride from a ferry terminal in Lilo-an town, Southern Leyte.
The saddle road was paved in the 1980s by the Philippine Japan Highway Loan program. The implementing agency has not diverted the sharp curved road sections due to budget constraints, according to Asis.
The infrastructure agency is now eyeing to lower the road section within this year.
Asis said correcting the road problem is in support to the Road Safety Program of the National Government, noting that road accidents are one of the leading causes of deaths in the Philippines.
Data from the DPWH, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group showed earlier reports by media that the 82,829 road accidents in the country last year have claimed 1,833 lives and nearly 29,000 persons were injured.
Last May 2012, the Department of Budget and Management approved the release of P2.01 billion to the DPWH for the installation of road safety devices and preventive maintenance of national roads in the country, in a bid to promote road safety. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)