LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Chairman of the House Committee on Public Works defended the simultaneous implementation of infrastructure projects in the different parts of the archipelago amidst public outrage over the tremendous traffic congestions and inconveniences to the motoring and commuting public it caused, saying summer is the right time to implement infrastructure projects.
Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan, Chairman of the House Committee on Public Works, said during the Aquino administration, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) had worked out the appropriate strategies to implement all public works projects funded from the national budget by the start of the year instead of the previous practice of having the projects done by the rainy season.
“We consulted all concerned sectors and we agreed to a scheme that all funded projects will be bidded out in November or December short of being awarded and that the award of the projects will only be made after the President shall have signed the national budget into law with the subsequent release of funds to the concerned departments,” Cosalan stressed.
He simply appealed to the motoring and commuting public to bear with the inconveniences caused by the simultaneous implementation of public works projects because longer convenience will follow after all the road rehabilitation works shall have been completed pursuant to the vision of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino wherein all national roads and 80 percent of secondary arterial roads shall have been concreted before he steps down from power by the end of June 2016.
Cosalan said he will make necessary representations with Public Works Secretary Rogelio L. Singson on how to further improve the mechanisms of the current system to lessen the inconveniences that the simultaneous implementation of projects is causing the public.
The lawmaker disclosed the previous system wherein projects are bidded out only by the end of the first quarter of every year and the implementation of projects is done at the start of the rainy season which is more problematic compared to the existing system.
He raised observations that the public is really being inconvenienced by the simultaneous implementation of public works projects all over the country but concerned regional and district offices should make the necessary adjustments of the traffic schemes to help lessen the impact of the project implementation to the tourism and trade and commerce sectors of the localities.
Cosalan explained contractors who were awarded projects must also do their part by ensuring that they work round the clock in order to help lessen the public outraged by the simultaneous implementation of public works projects and to ensure that such projects will be completed ahead of schedule for the welfare of the motoring and commuting public.
Cosalan advised contractors to closely coordinate with local government officials to make sure that the traffic schemes that will be put in place to mitigate the effects of the road rehabilitation works are effective after the conduct of an experiment and in order to work out the beauty of close coordination among regional line agencies and concerned local government units hosting the repair works on national and secondary arterial roads that need to be significantly improved for public welfare. By Dexter A. See