DPWH Projects to Improve Accessibility in Western Mindanao Moves Forward

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) declared that the government’s priority infrastructure projects in Zamboanga Peninsula keeps on moving toward successful completion despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his report to Secretary Mark A. Villar, DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain said civil works for three (3) core subprojects under the Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project or IGCMRSP are on-going namely Alicia-Malangas Road (PR 06) and Lutiman – Guicam – Olutanga Road (PR 09) in the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay; and Tampilisan – Sandayong Road (PR 07) in the Province of Zamboanga del Norte.

With the resumption of limited domestic commercial flight to Zamboanga, Undersecretary Sadain together with Project Director Sharif Madsmo Hasim of UPMO Roads Management Cluster 2 (Multilateral) have travelled to Western Mindanao for the conduct of regular monitoring visits to these projects and met with contractors and consultants to address the challenges of the project implementation.

Undersecretary Sadain said that updates about the project implementation with emphasis on significant milestones since project started in March 2019 and the planning of new activities were discussed including mitigation strategies that have been developed to ensure the correct implementation of the project in the light of the Covid-19 health emergency.

The meeting is of paramount importance to continually assessed and discussed challenges of project implementation in view of establishing a common strategy to early management of problems and for DPWH project team on the ground to understand the impact of delays or opportunities presented by completing work ahead of schedule, added Undersecretary Sadain.

The P25.257 Billion IGCMRSP funded with a loan amounting P19.080 Billion by the Asian Development Bank and P6.117 Billion to be funded by the Government of the Philippines, is composed of seven (7) road sections with a total length of 166.94 kilometers and Guicam Bridge with a length of 540.8 lineal meters all located in Zamboanga Peninsula and three (3) bridges with a length of 1,047.40 lineal meter located in Tawi-Tawi Province.

The project will enhance and hasten economic development, reduce the travel time, provide safe and efficient travel, and improve peace and order situation in Mindanao.

Major works for the on-going Alicia-Malangas Road includes construction of 23.73 km concrete road traversing 15 barangays of the Municipalities of Alicia and Malangas meeting a required carriageway width for a national secondary road of 6.70 meter with shoulder width of 1.5 meters on both sides.

The project amounting P1.319 Billion and scheduled for completion by March 2022 also covers the replacement of eight (8) bridges and construction/improvement of existing drainage and slope protection structures.

On the otherhand, the P623.260 Million Tampilisan – Sandayong Road Project covers the upgrading of 15.07 km existing combined barangay/municipal roads generally made up of gravel with 3 to 4 meter width to standard specifications of a secondary national road.

The Tampilisan – Sandayong Road when completed by September 2021 will provide a direct link between Dipolog and Pagadian Cities by-passing Ipil which is the capital town of Zamboanga Sibugay.

The start of the project road is at the junction of the Dipolog-Ipil National Highway and the Sto. Nino barangay road traversing Barangays New Dapitan, Poblacion, Farmington, Situbo and ends at Barangay Sandayong’s road crossing with road to Naga town proper, Zamboanga Sibugay.

The P989.69 Million Lutiman – Guicam – Olutanga Road targetted for completion by September 2021 involves the concrete paving of 29.10 km of national tertiary road made up of gravel and construction of a 60.98 lineal meters bridge following the existing alignment traversing the Municipalities of Alicia, Mabuhay, Talusan and Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay Province and leading to a ferry operation at Guicam Channel of about 440 meter channel width to connect Guicam to Mabuhay in Olutanga Island. Under procurement stage is the proposed Guicam Bridge Project which involves construction of 540 lineal meter bridge that will link Barangay Lutiman, Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay and Olutanga port.

Other sections included in the ADB funded projects located in Zamboanga Del Norte, Zamboanga City and Zamboanga Sibugay are: 14.72 km Gutalac Baliguian Alternate Road (PR-1a); 32.31 km R.T. Lim Siocon Road (PR-08); 33.08 km Curuan – Sibuco Road; and 18.93 km Siay- Gapol Road. Three (3) bridges will also be built in Tawi-Tawi Province with a total length of 1,047 lineal meters namely Nalil- Sikkiat Bridge over Bongao Channel; Tongsinah Paniongan Bridge over Sanga Sanga channel; and Malassa- Lupa Pula Bridge over Manalik Channel to mainland Tawi-Tawi Island.