Preliminary works now
ongoing for MCC road project in Samar
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY –
Preliminary works are now ongoing for the Secondary National Roads
Development Project (SNRDP) under the Philippine Compact with
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
Engr. Rene Galapon of
the Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Office 8, who is
the Project Engineer, informed the Philippine Information Agency that
environmental and social impact assessment is now ongoing.
environmental Examination is scheduled to be completed in March of
2012 while the environmental impact assessment will be completed by
June of 2012, Engr. Galapon disclosed.
Also ongoing is the
road engineering design. The project has two design packages, Engr.
Galapon explained. Package A, which is from Wright-Taft-Sulat, ending
at the boundary of Taft and San Julian, is being handled by Tetra Tech
in association with PTCC Engineers and TCGI Engineers.
Package B, on the
other hand, from San Julian to Guiuan, is handled by Gauff Engenierre
in association with Schema Consult.
In addition, the
resettlement work is also ongoing. The Project Affected Parties (PAPs)
were briefed about the project and compensation cut of date was
publicly announced during the Public Scoping in Borongan last year.
The tagging process for properties that will be affected by the
project was completed in September. The Preparation of Resettlement
Action Plans are ongoing, first action plan is expected to be
completed in March 2012 and the implementation of which is expected to
start in March of 2012.
For the construction
work, the first construction package is expected to start by September
2012, Engr. Galapon added.
explained that although the DPWH is the implementing agency for the
SNRDP, an accountable entity, the MCC Account-Philippines or
MCA-Philippines was created to ensure the judicious and transparent
use of the $434-million grant from Millennium Challenge Corporation of
the US Government.
“MCA-P is the
Philippine corporation created to supervise and manage the
implementation of the projects, including $214 million for the SNRDP,”
Engr. Galapon said.
NGO partners given key
Allaying fears of
possible corruption in the roads project, Engr. Galapon said that
reflective of its policy of transparency, accountability and
inclusiveness, Millennium Challenge Account-Philippines (MCA-P) has
mandated representatives from the private sector, non-government
organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations (CSOs), and local
and regional government beneficiaries to help in the implementation of
anti-poverty projects to be funded by the $434-million grant from the
U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
At least five (5) from
the so-called NGO Sector were elected to MCA-P’s Board of Trustees,
three of whom are voting members and two are non-voting, while seven
(7) others are members of the Stakeholders Committee.
The three voting Board
members from the NGO Sector are Fr. Cesar Aculan of Samar Partnership
for Peace and Development; Atty. Cesar B. Yu Jr. of Zuellig Family
Foundation; and Veronica Villavicencio of Peace and Equity Foundation.
The two non-voting Board members are Edgar Comeros of PPVC Cebu and
Marietta Paragas of Cordillera Network, both of whom are members of
and were nominated by the Stakeholders Committee.
The Secondary National
Roads Development Project (SNRDP) involves the rehabilitation of a
220-kilometer road in the
one of the poorest provinces in the
Beginning at the junction of Pan Philippine Highway and Buray (Wright)
in Western Samar and passing along mountainous terrain to Taft, Engr.
Galapon further said.
From Taft, it
continues southward along the coastline of
Eastern Samar ending in Guiuan, passing through a total of 15
municipalities. The roads project is expected to accrue economic
benefits by lowering vehicle operating costs, and saving the time of
Filipinos living near the roads thus enabling them to have greater
access to commercial activities as well as to their basic needs. Engr.
The project involves
the construction/rehabilitation of existing roads and bridges that
includes widening, drainage installation and other road safety
improvements. The project recognizes DPWH standard right-of-way limit,
the DPWH engineer added.
However, in an attempt
to minimize disruption to the inhabitants and users along the road,
the right-of-way shall be limited to the construction limits, which is
estimated at this time to have a width spanning the existing road
width plus approximately 2-3 meters on each side of the existing
Prior to the start of
construction, the required right-of-way limit will be established to
determine the actual land and improvements that will be affected.
Parties (PAPs) will be duly notified and will have access to
compensation in accordance with applicable laws and eligibility
criteria, Engr. Galapon continued.
Engr. Galapon informed
that the primary objective of the project is to help improve the
living conditions of the people of Samar. With more accessible and
safer roads, people will have more socio-economic opportunities
because of reduced transport time and cost.
The farmers will be
able to transport their produce in less time to the urban markets. The
people from the rural areas will have more opportunity for employment
and education in the urban center.
In addition, the
people living in rural areas will have faster and better access to
health care, especially in cases of emergency.
The project also will
generate employment opportunities as skilled and unskilled workers
will be required during construction and rehabilitation, Engr. Galapon