MORE than half of the 461 infrastructure projects the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 is implementing this year have been completed.

Only 115 project remain unfinished, said DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas said in a press conference yesterday.

The P7.5 billion the National Government allocated to Region 7 this year is smaller compared to the previous year’s allocation of P8.2 billion.

Canlas said P802.2 million was set aside for the Cebu 6th District Engineering Office, which oversees infrastructure projects in the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu and the towns of Cordova and Consolacion.

Purpose

Canlas said the amount is for the construction and repair of primary and secondary roads and other infrastructures in tourist destinations, particularly in Lapu-Lapu City and in Cordova.

This is in preparation for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Cebu next year.

Some of the projects were funded by the DPWH and the Department of Tourism through a joint convergence program.

Calamity-stricken areas, particularly in Cebu’s fourth district and Bohol Province, received a slightly smaller budget.

Important infrastructures, such as roads and bridges in some areas in Bohol, were affected after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the province last year.

And while majority of roads and bridges in northern Cebu remained intact when it was hit by super typhoon Yolanda last November, many government buildings were affected.

Other priorities

Canlas said the National Government did not allocate a bigger budget for these areas since it has already appropriated needed funds from its calamity fund.

There are also projects in northern Cebu and Bohol that are funded from other government agencies, such as the Department of Education (DepEd), which is coordinating with the DPWH for the construction of disaster-resilient classrooms.

But the DPWH was tasked by President Benigno Aquino III to immediately repair five bridges that were damaged during last year’s earthquake.

Canlas said they were given until the end of this year to finish the repairs.

Other priority projects include the rehabilitation of the S. Osmeña Blvd. in Cebu City, the Mactan circumferential road in Lapu-Lapu City, the widening of the Cebu South Road and the maintenance and repairs of roads in Moalboal, Medellin and in Lapu-Lapu City.