TACLOBAN CITY – At least 1,380 kilometers of roads and 570 bridges in Eastern Visayas (Region 8) have been built and upgraded in the past five years through the national government’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
Since 2016, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has completed the rehabilitation, reconstruction, and widening of a 1,380-kilometer stretch of national roads.
The activity also includes the construction of bypasses and diversion roads as well as preventive maintenance of roads in the entire region.
“The region’s interconnectivity between islands and provinces has also been enhanced through the completion of 570 bridges, which mostly involves bridge widening, major repair of the region's permanent bridges, and retrofitting or strengthening of bridges. From July 2016 to December 2020, Eastern Visayas has the highest number of completed bridge projects nationwide,” DPWH Region 8 director Nerie Bueno, said in a statement on Thursday.
The official said the region has been prioritized in the “Build, Build, Build” program of President Rodrigo Duterte to assure improved mobility and raise the region’s resilience from calamities.
From 2016 to 2020, the national government has released PHP132 billion to carry out various infrastructure projects, according to DPWH.
Among the major project is the Tacloban City Bypass Road, which is 93.49 percent done as of mid-2021.
The PHP2 billion project has reduced travel time from more than an hour to only 30 minutes, benefiting over 1,000 motorists daily.
To complement the proposed international seaport in the town of Babatngon, Leyte, the DPWH also worked on the completion of PHP1.19 billion Tacloban City Bypass Road Extension.
The six-lane road with a total length of 33 kilometers is designed to decongest traffic along Tacloban-Babatngon Road going to the city’s commercial district, cutting travel time from one hour and 30 minutes to only 45 minutes.
The PHP6.13 billion Leyte Tide Embankment Project is now 80.37-percent completed.
The structure, meant to shield coastal communities from big waves, involves the construction of 30,858 meters of embankment in Tacloban City and nearby towns of Palo and Tanauan in Leyte.
Other big-ticket projects that are now substantially completed are the Palo West Bypass Road in Palo, Leyte; Mahaplag-Hilongos Road in the southern part of Leyte province; Ormoc Diversion Road in Ormoc City; Maasin City Coastal Bypass Road in Southern Leyte; Calbayog City Coastal Road Package in Calbayog City, Samar; San Roque Bypass Road in Northern Samar; and Almeria Bypass Road in Biliran.
These bypass roads are to provide alternate routes for commuters and give additional capacity by diverting vehicles around high-build-up areas to alleviate traffic congestion.
The “Build, Build, Build” program is the Duterte administration’s ambitious infrastructure development plan composed of thousands of projects to be implemented all over the country. (PNA)