Proposed south coastal road marred by lack of funds


THE proposed Talisay-Minglanilla-Naga coastal road that seeks to alleviate the worsening southbound traffic along Natalio Bacalso Ave. is facing another setback due to budget constraints.

Nonato Paylado, chief of the Planning and Design Division of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7, said they do not have enough funds to conduct a feasibility study (FS).

The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) summoned Paylado and other agency officials to appear during its regular session on Monday, March 11, 2024, for an update on proposed road projects in the province that also include the Mandaue-Consolacion-Liloan coastal road.

Paylado said the General Appropriations Act of 2024 only allocated P1 million for the FS of the south coastal road.

However, he said they require at least P18.6 million to be able to conduct one, adding that they first proposed the amount three years ago.

In his presentation, the proposed coastal road is designed to be an alternative road for southbound motorists to bypass the “severely congested” Talisay-Minglanilla-Naga Road section of the national highway, especially during peak hours.

The proposed road will traverse the foreshore areas of the cities of Naga and Talisay and the town of Minglanilla, starting from the southern tip of the South Road Properties (SRP) to Barangay Tuyan in City of Naga.

“The main objective actually was really to decongest the very heavy traffic, heavily traveled N. Bacalso Ave., especially the Talisay-Minglanilla Road section,” Paylado said.

It will also serve as a continuation of the proposed Cebu City South Blvd. (traversing the SRP near the pond) and the proposed Mambaling South Blvd.

The project will be 15 kilometers long with an estimated cost of P7.8 billion for civil works and road right-of-way acquisition, Paylado said.

With the latest setback, Paylado said the DPWH 7 is proposing through its central office the inclusion of the proposed P18.6 million FS budget in the 2025 annual budget.

The FS and the detailed engineering design of the Cebu City South Blvd. and the Mambaling South Blvd. are due this year, but he did not say exactly when these will be completed.

Paylado said the two road sections will serve as alternate roads to decongest traffic in the interior portion of Cebu City towards the back of the SRP.

The DPWH 7 official said the south coastal road project can be implemented through a Public-Private-Partnership.

Sixth District PB Member Glenn Anthony Soco, who invited the DPWH 7 officials, said he will study their presentation before issuing a resolution that will seek to expedite the project in the next round of discussions.

He told the DPWH 7 to follow Ordinance 2023-05 that mandates all national government agencies to coordinate with the PB and the Provincial Government for the seamless implementation of projects.

First proposal

An alternative road from the City of Naga to the SRP to decongest the national highway was floated in 2015 by the Provincial Development Council (PDC).

The then PDC proposed the opening of the old Philippine National Railways routes that ran parallel to N. Bacalso Ave.

In 2017, then Minglanilla Mayor Elanito Peña proposed anew the coastal bypass road with an estimated project cost of P16 billion, to be funded by the National Government.

It was slated to traverse the coastal villages of Tungkop, Tulay, Calajoan, and Tungkil in Minglanilla.

However, there is no update regarding the proposal.

In July 2022, Leonard Abao of DPWH met with incumbent Minglanilla Mayor Rajiv Enad to discuss the construction of a coastal road.

“We will explore alternative routes and establish diversion roads with the help of our congressman (First District Rep. Rhea Gullas), in order to ease the volume of road users on the national highway,” Enad said in a statement posted on the the town’s official social media page on July 4, 2022. / EHP


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