AT LEAST 70 percent of provincial roads that are in fair to poor conditions will be concreted by the Cebu Provincial Government before the year ends.
The pronouncement was made by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia following the approval of her administration’s first supplemental budget (SB) amounting to P1.3 billion on Aug. 5, 2019.
“Gi-una usa nato ang kadtong mga dan nga (We’re prioritizing our roads that as) per our report and assessment, are in the fair to poor state. With this, we are also hoping that we can as much as possible cover probably with the SB, 70 to 80 percent of our municipalities,” Garcia said on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019.
The biggest slice of the supplemental budget went to the construction, improvement and rehabilitation program for roads and bridges at P800 million.
Based on the 2019 Supplemental Investment Plan under the General Fund, the target completion date for the Capitol’s road and bridge construction, improvement and rehabilitation program is December 2019.
The supporting documents of the SB, though, did not specify which areas will be prioritized, as it had to be “passed as soon as possible because of urgent needs.”
“As of now, i-general lang usa nato (we will just generalize it)... Pero akong i-assure sa tanan nga ang tanan gyud, mabutangan gyud nato. Kung di man makaya sa atong SB, immediately magsunod na gyud ang (But I assure everyone that all our towns will benefit from the road concreting project. If the SB will not be able to cover all our towns, immediately it will be included in the) annual budget. Matagaan gyud na nato ang tanan, way pili, way pabor (Everyone will benefit from this, without discrimination, without favoring anyone),” Garcia said.
The Provincial Board will deliberate on the appropriation ordinance covering the 2020 annual budget in December yet.
As part of its road rehabilitation program, the Province will set a standard road width of five meters for all provincial thoroughfares in its component municipalities.
The concrete thickness, though, will depend on the traffic flow in the area.
Roads with light to moderate vehicular traffic will have a concrete thickness of eight inches, while thoroughfares with heavy traffic will have their thickness increased to up to 10 inches.
The standard for provincial roads in barangays, on the other hand, has been set at four meters wide and six inches thick.
The Capitol will enlist the help of the municipalities in clearing areas with road-right-of-way problems.
Garcia had stressed the need to rehabilitate provincial roads after having first-hand experience of how dilapidated they were during the campaign period for the May 13 elections.
“I’ve practically gone to every nook and cranny of our towns. Before (during my earlier stint as governor), all of these were asphalted and well maintained. But sad to say, wala na ni (these did not have any) maintenance in the past six years. We have been supplied by the Provincial Engineer’s Office an inventory of our provincial roads and the various stages of disrepair,” she said.