NATONIN, Mountain Province – The Second Mountain Province District Engineering Office- Department of Public Works and Highways (2nd MPDEO-DPWH), is set to implement an estimated amount of P 1.54 billion earmarked for the various projects in Eastern Mountain Province starting this year.
A total of 21 projects worth P 765.61 million were appropriated from the General Appropriation Act for the improvement of Junction Talubin-Barlig-Natonin- Paracelis- Calaccad national road, and improvement of access roads leading to trades, industries and economic zones of eastern municipalities.
The projects include widening, concreting, and construction of flood mitigation structures such as slope protection, retaining walls, and drainage systems.
The projects also include the constructions of multi-purpose buildings in Barlig and Natonin, completion of 2nd District Engineering Office building , and other structures.
Aside from these projects, the office is also currently implementing ten (10) calamity projects worth 713.7 million from the DPWH central office for the construction of flood controls at Paracelis, and P 70 million for the improvement Natonin Municipal Road and Natonin-Toboy Road from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process through the PAMANA program.
These funds were only downloaded to the concerned implementing agency on the last quarter of CY 2017.
OIC District Engineer Rustom A. Martinez disclosed that all projects have been awarded and some winning contractors had started their implementation as early as February 2018. He is optimistic that all major roads in their jurisdiction will be concreted as he noted the social acceptance of the people in the eastern municipalities. He said that the problem on road right of way is very minimal.
According to the district engineer, the completion of the roads in the eastern part of the province is seen to provide ease to the riding public and help increase farm ventures for the productivity and profitability of the farmers in the area.
He appealed to the public for understanding on delay of project implementation as the delays were caused by occurrence of weather disturbances considering that rainy season in Barlig and Natonin last for almost ten months a year.
In an interview with some affected owners, Mr. Claro M. Basilan, said that all of the affected lot owners, during public consultations held on February 22, 2018, agreed to sacrifice their properties to pave the way for the widening of the roads according to the standards and specifications of the DPWH.
Former Board Member Marcelino T. Balaso, a resident of Natonin and a frequent traveler from the capital town to the eastern province, estimated more or less 3 hours travel time from Bontoc to Paracelis via Natonin ones the concreting will be completed.
Meanwhile, the concreting of another multi-million Farm to Market Road, which were coursed through provincial government as implementing agency, from the KALSADA (Konkreto at Ayos na LanSAngan ang DAan tungo sa Pangkalahaatng Kaunlaran) and Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) of the national government, for the various access roads at Paracelis is expected to be completed this year since Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan Jr. is closely monitoring its progress regularly.
In his message before the local government officials and the Barangay Health Workers during their annual assembly held at the municipal hall of Paracelis on February 23, 2018, he urged the people in the eastern part of the province to pay their respective taxes and help in the information and dissemination on the importance of taxes. According to him, there is no reason for them not to pay their civic obligation as the same will return to them a hundredfold in the form of projects and services.
By Alfred Macalling