38 Bohol roads, bridges fixed

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has completed rehabilitation of 38 roads and bridges in Bohol, three years after a powerful quake battered these structures.

District Engineer Francis Antonio Flores of the DPWH Bohol First Engineering District said the rehabilitation of the finished roads and bridges cost P265.9 million.

Work is ongoing on other roads and bridges for a total of P206.2 million, he said.

Flores said that DPWH has allocated P13.8 million for salaries of residents of Balilihan, Maribojoc, Calape, Alburquerque and Loon who worked with them in installing emergency steel bridges.

These emergency bridges were badly needed in the aftermath of the earthquake to make the Tagbilaran-Tubigon Road passable again.

When the 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Bohol last Oct. 15, 2013, it cut off access to parts of the province.

Engineer Joselito “Boy” Sayson said that while the quake also damaged some facilities in Cebu, these were minimal and no additional appropriation was needed.

“We just used part of our maintenance funds to repair these structures,” said Sayson, officer-in-charge of the DPWH 7 Construction Division.

All the projects that focused on Bohol’s rehabilitation are nearly 100 percent completed, said DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas.

“We led the rehabilitation of Bohol immediately after the earthquake. We even provided jobs and salaries of earthquake victims who worked with DPWH, especially in the installation of emergency bridges. And those emergency bridges have become permanent now,” said Canlas.

He presided over the DPWH 7 staff conference in Tagbilaran City yesterday.

The emergency bridges which are now permanent are the Desamparados Bridge and Tultugan Bridge in Calape; Abatan Bridge in Maribojoc; Tagbuane Bridge in Alburquerque; and the Moalong Bridge in Loon.

DPWH spent P42.9 million to rehabilitate the Tagbilaran North Road passing through Maribojoc, Antequera and Loon towns.

DPWH also spent P17.4 million to build bunkhouses and service facilities in the towns of Tubigon and Loon.

About P10 million was spent by DPWH for the retrofitting and strengthening of a road in Cortes, a town 10 kilometers from Tagbilaran City.

The first district of Bohol suffered more damage from the earthquake compared to its second and third districts. Flores, the district engineer of the area, served on the frontline of the repair and rehabilitation efforts.

The municipalities of Cortes, Maribojoc, Antequera, Loon, Calape, Tubigon, Balilihan, Catigbian, Dauis and Baclayon and Tagbilaran City belong to the first district of Bohol.

Most of the Catholic churches in the first district were destroyed.

Aside from DPWH funds used to rehabilitate Bohol, Canlas said that the National Government also provided the Bohol Earthquake Assistance (BEA) funds, which were directly released to local government units (LGUs).

Canlas said that DPWH also helped LGUs, especially those with no plantilla municipal engineers, in implementing BEA projects through technical assistance, especially in the preparation of the program of works.

Town officials were the ones who listed their priority projects to be funded by BEA and they sought the assistance of DPWH for the program of work which is the basis for the procurement of materials, Canlas said.
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