New measures needed to speed up projects, says DPWH

By Sarwell Meniano

February 9, 2023, 6:35 pm

<p>Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Eastern Visayas regional director Edgar Tabacon. <em>(Photo courtesy of DPWH)</em>  </p>

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Eastern Visayas regional director Edgar Tabacon. (Photo courtesy of DPWH)  

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Eastern Visayas has called on contractors to adopt new measures that would fast-track the construction of infrastructure projects despite frequent rains.

DPWH Eastern Visayas regional director Edgar Tabacon noticed that contractors in the region are heavily dependent on favorable weather to fast-track their civil works.

“It’s time to think out of the box. What if there will be rain for one year? Would they stop their construction activities? Tabacon said in an interview with reporters Thursday.

Frequent heavy rainfall, especially in Samar provinces is the most common reason why several projects are delayed despite the availability of funds.

“Even if the workers are already there, some contractors must suspend work for several days due to rains. I hope they will acquire new equipment to continue their work regardless of the weather condition,” Tabacon added.

Among the delayed projects is the Korean-funded PHP1.12-billion Samar Pacific Coastal Road project in Northern Samar province.

The DPWH and Korean embassy broke the ground for the road and bridges project in May 2018 and the original completion was March 12, 2020.

The contractor failed to meet the revised completion target of Dec. 31, 2021, prompting them to seek a second extension to June 30, 2022, and another extension to Dec. 31, 2022.

As of Jan. 25, 2023, the project is just 81.30 percent complete after nearly five years of construction, according to the DPWH.

In its September 2022 report, the DPWH said about 29 typhoons affected the project since it started in May 2018, hindering the work of its contractor Ilsung Construction Co., Ltd. of Korea, and local partner Pacific Concrete Products.

In 2022, the DPWH has implemented 1,246 projects with a budget of PHP43 billion. The regional office is still waiting for the submission of accomplishment reports from its district offices in six provinces.

For this year, the agency is tasked to carry out 1,398 projects with a budget of PHP5.22 billion. (PNA)