Two (2) flagship road projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Zamboanga Peninsula are nearly finished, facilitating economic growth for residents and acting as a ‘bridge for peace’.
DPWH Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado together with Undersecretaries Emil K. Sadain and Eugenio R. Pipo Jr. inspected on June 1-2, 2022 the 23.73 kilometers Alicia-Malangas Road in Zamboanga Sibugay and 15.35 kilometers Tampilisan-Sandayong Road in Zamboanga del Norte.
Secretary Mercado said that the improvement of roads particularly in rural areas of Mindanao is a crucial pathway to poverty alleviation and in addressing armed conflict as it provides access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for the people.
Others present at the field visit are Assistant Secretaries Ador G. Canlas, Antonio V. Molano Jr., Wilfredo S. Mallari, Mel John I. Verzosa and Rolito D. Manalo; Project Director Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim; Region 9 Director Cayamombao D. Dia; and Project Managers Soledad R. Florecio and Emmanuel Supe.
Underscretary Sadain, in-charge of DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations and Build Build Build Program Chief Implementer, in his briefing said that the two (2) road projects not just facilitate better mobility of people, goods and services but also provide local employment, a much-needed safety net to reduce financial distress especially in the COVID-19 pandemic that caused large-scale reverse migration to rural areas from cities.
Providing an all-weather road access to rural areas to reduce poverty and promote peace and social development will contribute significantly to an improved standard of living for people and establishes trust towards the government that change is happening, added Undersecretary Sadain.
Alicia – Malangas Road Project involves concrete paving of once dusty and bumpy narrow road traversing 15 barangays of the Municipalities of Alicia and Malangas towards a designed carriageway width for a national secondary road of 6.70 meters with shoulder width of 1.5 meter on both sides.
On the otherhand, upgrading of Tampilisan-Sandayong Road, a combined barangay/municipal road to standard specifications of a secondary national road will be a new direct link between the cities of Dipolog and Pagadian by passing the town of Ipil.
The project starts from junction of Dipolog-Ipil National Highway and Sto. Nino barangay road (K1981+490) to its end in Barangay Sandayong’s road crossing (K1999+065.86) with road towards Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Other than the road improvement by upgrading and concreting with paved shoulder, the Tampilisan-Sandayong Road Project covers the replacement/construction of three (3) bridges including slope protection works, and provision of reinforced concrete box culvert and pipe culvert.
Implemented by DPWH UPMO – Roads Management Cluster 2 (DPWH UPMO-RMC 2), the Alicia-Malangas Road and Tampilisan-Sandayong Road are two (2) of the core projects under the Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project (IGCMRSP) funded by a loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
DPWH UPMO-RMC 2 Project Director Hasim explained that the P25.26 Billion IGCMRSP covers a total length of 154.68 kilometers including the 540-meter Guicam Bridge in Zamboanga Sibugay and three (3) other bridges namely Nalil-Sikkiat, Tongsinah-Paniongan and Malassa-Lupa Pula with a total length of 1.790 kilometer in the Island Province of Tawi-Tawi.
The IGCMRSP aimed to enhance economic development and peace and order situation in Mindanao.