Funding for proposed P4.6-B Samar roads endorsed

PALO, Leyte -- The Regional Development Council (RDC) endorsed for funding the proposed P4.6-billion Samar Island Roads for Peace and Development geared toward opening up 240 kilometers of roads in rural areas.

RDC Chairman and Leyte Governor Jericho Petilla said the proposed projects were earlier identified by the Regional Peace and Order Council to achieve peace and order and develop tourism.

“The focus is to make the interior villages in Samar Island accessible. The only way that we can actually have solid representation for funding if it becomes a concern of RDC as well,” Petilla said during the council’s meeting last Friday.

These identified proposed roads are the P345-million opening of the Gandara-Matuguinao road, P600-million repair and rehabilitation of the Matuguinao-Las Navas road, P375-million opening of the San Jose de Buan-Matuguinao road, P500-million opening of the Silvino Lobos-Las Navas road, and P620-million construction of San-Isidro-Lope de Vega road.

Also included are the P180-million repair of Trojillo-E. Duran road in Bobon, P80-million construction of Trangue-Mabini road in Catarman, P210-million rehabilitation of Cagnapit-an road in Silvino Lobos, P195-million Simora-Palapag road, P117-million construction of Polangi-Trangue road in Catarman and P1.4-billion opening of Las Navas-Jipapad road.

He said the RDCs in the Visayas earlier agreed to make the proposed Samar Island Roads for Peace and Development as their thrust.

“Having a nice airport is a good investment for tourism development but if the peace and order situation is not resolved, we continue to face the same problem. These proposed road networks will also contribute to the peace and order efforts of the government, as these interior municipalities of Samar Island are considered conflict-afflicted,” Petilla said.

He clarified, however, that the improvement of the Tacloban Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport is still an RDC priority until 2013.

Major General Mario Chan, commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division, said they have been emphasizing road network improvement to solve insurgency in Samar.

“The good road is a boost to government activities to be undertaken in the area. Responding to problems of security would be fast. Combat cannot solve insurgency if it is not backed with development,” Chan said in an interview.

During the RDC meeting, the military presented photos taken from their inspection of road networks in remote areas of Samar Island.

Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Director Rolando Asis said that some of the proposed road projects are included in the P900-million Samar Peace and Prosperity Roads, which will commence this year.

Earlier, the RDC endorsed to DPWH road network connecting the three Samar provinces. These are the Las Navas-Silvino Lobos-Matuguinao-Gandara road, Las Navas-Jipapad-Maslog-Oras road, Paranas-San Jose de Buan-Maslog road, San Jose de Buan-Matuguinao road, and Mondragon-Silvino Lobos road. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)

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