Substantial portion of Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project in Eastern Visayas is nearing completion even with frequent rains halted works that have tremendous impact on the construction progress.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary and Build Build Build Chief Implementer Emil K. Sadain, in his inspection report to Secretary Roger G. Mercado, said that workers have completely launched all the girders and started with formworks, rebars and paving deck slab of the 161 meters Simora Bridge which is a major component to open up a new 11.6 kilometer road in Northern Samar.
Undersecretary Sadain, in-charge of DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations expressed optimism that the Simora Bridge and Jangtud 1 Bridge will be open by June 2022.
Samar Pacific Coastal Road is part of the seven (7) flagship infrastructure projects targetted to be completed before the term of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ends on June 30, 2022, said Undersecretary Sadain.
Other flagship projects for completion include the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge under Metro Manila Logistics Network; Flood Risk Management Project in Cagayan, Tagoloan and Imus Rivers; Department of Transportation’s LRT 2 Extension, Unified Grand Central Station, and Motor Vehicle Recognition and Enhancement System; and Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project in Cotabato of the National Irrigation Administration.
During the inspection, Undersecretary Sadain has instructed the contractor Ilsung Construction Company Inc. in partnership with Pacific Concrete Products to augment manpower, equipment, and materials resources; concentrate on workable sites; and identify activities that must be continued so as to pick-up rate of work and minimize the effects of adverse weather.
The unusually wet weather makes more challenging the construction/improvement of the road that begins at the Simora Junction, Laoang, and traverses to the remote communities of the Pacific towns of Laoang and Palapag.
This Samar Pacific Coastal Road is hugely significant in reducing poverty, eradicating the problem of local armed conflict, and improving economic situation in the area as a result of improved transport connectivity.
To reach the capital town of Catarman, residents of Palapag and three other Pacific towns — Mapanas, Gamay, and Lapinig– need to cross a river twice through a pump boat ride.
From the port in Pangpang village in Palapag town, travelers need to cross a river to Calomotan village of Laoang, then take a boat ride to the port in the town center, and ride another pump boat to cross the river going to Rawis village.
The project is implemented by DPWH UPMO Roads Management Cluster 2 headed by Project Director Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim with Project Manager Teresita V. Bauzon as project team head.
Costing ₱997.50-million, the road project is funded through a loan agreement between the Government of the Philippines and Korean Economic Development Cooperation Fund.