13 Kalinga projects wait P99M fund release

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TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The Department of Public Works and Highways–Lower Kalinga District Engineering Office (DPWH-LKDEO) is still awaiting the release of some P99 million from the budget department previously earmarked for the implementation of some thirteen infrastructure projects within the jurisdiction of the agency.

DPWH-LKDEO officer-in-charge Engr. Ruby Uyam disclosed that the P99 million funds for the 13 projects was earlier withheld for later release.

She claimed that the projects affected by the delay include the P80 million for the ongoing construction of the Chico River mega dike and the P19 million that had been programmed for some 12 projects that include multipurpose buildings, drainage systems, waterworks and flood control projects, footbridge under local infrastructure projects.

The DPWH-LKDEO official pointed out that there were previous assurances that the funds which had been programmed for later release will be released anytime to ensure the completion of the programmed projects that will help in the realization of the overall infrastructure development within the agency’s areas of jurisdiction.

On the other hand, Engr. Uyam also revealed that Public Works Secretary Mark Villar approved the modification of some 16 projects with a total funding of some P499 million that allowed the agency to already award the aforesaid projects to the complying and responsive bidders that resulted in their subsequent implementation.

According to her, the earlier programmed projects whose funding had been scheduled for later release are short of award that is why the DPWH-LKDEO will immediately award the same to the complying and responsive bidders once the funds will be released to the district office.

Uyam stipulated that all the pertinent documents supporting the projects that had been classified for later release had already been submitted to the DPWH regional and central offices and that what is only being awaited is the release of the funds to ensure the completion of the projects during the year in accordance to the government’s cash-based budgeting.

While it is true that the province had also been affected by the continuous rains due to the prevalence of the enhanced southwest monsoon, the DPWH-LKDEO district engineer said that there was minimal damage that had been inflicted by the rains to the existing infrastructures within the agency’s areas of jurisdiction unlike in other areas where the effects of the monsoon rains to the state of infrastructure is really enormous.

She emphasized that the timely deployment of the various units of heavy equipment in strategic roadlines during the recent onslaught of the monsoon rains resulted to the immediate clearing of roadlines from the obstructions that were caused by landslides that is why there had been smooth flow of vehicular traffic going in and out of the province even at the height of heavy downpour.

Earlier, the DPWH-LKDEO was able to purchase a brand-new heavy equipment that will be used to clear roads from landslides at the height of heavy rains considering that July to October of every year is the rainy season where the saturation of the mountain slopes always result in soil erosion and landslides. By HENT

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