5 national roads remain closed; 3 with limited access as of July 26 – DPWH

Marje Pelayo   •   July 26, 2021   •   272

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has advised motorists that five national road sections remain closed and three have limited access as of 6:00 AM on Monday (July 26) due to continuous rains brought about by the southwest monsoon.

In a press release, Secretary Mark Villar explained that most flooded roads in NCR have been cleared but three national road sections in Cordillera Administrative Region, and one each in Region III and Region IV-B are still closed to all types of vehicles.

Motorists are reminded that total closures are in effect along the following major roads:

Baguio-Bontoc Road K0362+600, Busa Bridge, Sabangan, Mt. Province;
Abra – Kalinga Road, K0489+900 in Gacab, Malibcong, Abra and Abra – Ilocos Norte Road K0449+715 in Nagaparan, Danglas, Abra;
Junction Layac Balanga Mariveles Port Road Zigzag Section K0160+000 in Bataan; and
Mindoro West Coastal Road, K0353+900, Pag-asa Section, in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.

Meanwhile, the Apalit Macabebe Masantol Road, K0057+700-K0063+400 at Intermittent Sections and Sto Tomas – Minalin Road (Minalin- Macabebe Section), K0072+500-k0073+300 in Pampanga; and Bigaa Plaridel via Bulacan & Malolos (Panginay Sect.) K0030+500-K0032+000 are still closed to light vehicles due to flooding.

The DPWH Quick Response Teams composed of 338 personnel with 51 equipment and service vehicles have been working since July 22 to restore access along these roads as soon as possible.

All other national roads and bridges in other affected regions are passable to all types of vehicles as of captioned date and time.

According to the state weather agency PAGASA, the effects of the Southwest Monsoon will remain and will continuously bring rains to the country thus precautionary measures are advised from the general public.

Senate panel questions P100B worth of unimplemented projects in 2021 budget

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Senate finance subcommittee on Wednesday (September 22) questioned the P100 billion-worth of unimplemented projects.

During Wednesday’s virtual hearing of the panel, Senator Nancy Binay questioned  the P100 billion worth of unimplemented projects due to the absence of clearance from the Office of the President (OP).

According to Binay, only about 30% of the Department of Public Works and Highways’  projects for  2021 have so far been implemented because there was no clearance from the OP.

“Nakakagulat kasi nga mag-o-October na in a few days and then may maririnig tayo na P100 billion worth of projects na alam natin can generate a lot of jobs na kailangan na kailangan natin ngayon pero hanggang ngayon hindi nga nai-implement ang mga programa na ito ” she said.

The said infrastructure projects were marked ‘For Later Release’ under the 2021 national budget and there is still no clearance from the OP.  The senators said the unused funds will return to the national treasury once the year ends.

Senator Miguel Zubiri urged the release of the funds which also include the budget for ‘Doktor Para sa Bayan Act’ which aims to provide medical scholarships. He also called for an executive session to discuss the issue.

“We all know that we need to have countryside development, and the only way to do countryside development is to push for medical scholarships, to push for this infrastructure programs,” he said.

The OP, meanwhile, the said budget would still need to be reviewed since it was not part of the original budget submitted under the 2021 National Expenditure Program.

“Many of these—because they are not in the NEP—have not gone through the usual vetting process of the agencies and so there’s that reason to place them in a category of their own, which warrants the imposition of special conditions for their release,” according to OP Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Michael Ong.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea assured that the release of the budget mentioned will be given priority.

“We will just look into it and see to it that this will be acted soonest,” he said. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Southwest monsoon affecting Luzon, ITCZ affecting Southern Mindanao

Marje Pelayo   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Tropical cyclone Chantu (Typhoon Kiko) has exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) and is now 790 kilometers North of Itbayat, Batanes.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the Southwest Monsoon and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) will bring cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over the areas of Babuyan Islands, Batanes, Ilocos Region, Abra, Benguet, Zambales, Bataan, MIMAROPA, the Zamboanga Peninsula, and the Bangsamoro.

This may cause flash floods or landslides due to heavy to at times intense rains in the said areas.

Meanwhile, Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers due to the combined effects of the Southwest Monsoon and localized thunderstorms.

All Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals are now lifted.

However, PAGASA said the enhanced Southwest Monsoon will bring occasional gusts reaching strong breezes to near gale strength over the coastal and upland or mountain areas of Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Metro Manila, CALABARZON, and MIMAROPA in the next 24 hours.

Binondo-Intramuros Bridge set to open in Q1 2022 — DPWH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Binondo-Intramuros Bridge Project is set to open in 2022, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, in a statement, assured that the installation of fabricated precast concrete slab panels is nearing its completion.

Of the 135 bored piles for abutments, piers, and ramps, 114 were already completed with the remaining 21 mostly at the Estero De Binondo area.

However, the DPWH reported that the presence of powerlines and other utilities along Estero de Binondo at the north approach bridge posed serious challenges in the tight schedule to complete the new bridge.

DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil Sadain said that the P3.39 billion project is about 77% complete.

He added that they are following up their request with Meralco to move or relocate distribution poles and overhead high tension lines that pose serious safety concerns in the ongoing construction of ramps in the Binondo and Intramuros area.

The construction of the 680 lineal meter basket-handle tied steel arch bridge connecting Intramuros (at Solana Street and Riverside Drive) and Binondo (at San Fernando Bridge) with a viaduct structure over Estero de Binondo is financed by a China Aid Grant.

Although the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the job site activity, the DPWH and contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation is taking proactive and preventive measures for workers in accordance with the construction health and safety guidelines amid the coronavirus disease threat, the department further said. AAC

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