ORMOC CITY – Work on the long-awaited Albuera-Burauen Road, started during Arroyo’s time but barely touched on the Albuera side for two years, will resume this 2013 and is hoped to be finished before the new year ends.
This information was confirmed by 4th Leyte Engineering District engineer Lino Gonzales here and 2nd Leyte Engineering District engineer Ma. Margarita Junia.
Segments of the project worth over P 50-million, however, would be implemented by the region, said Engr. Gonzales.
The Albuera-Burauen road is not only envisioned to cut road travel from the region’s capital of Tacloban to Ormoc City, a major gateway to Central Visayas by 18 kilometers, but also seen to improve the peace and order situation in the area which is said to be “NPA influenced”.
This December alone, around three encounters between the Army and the communist rebel group have already happened in the area.
2nd LED engineer Ma. Margarita C. Junia said that from their end, there is a P 68-million funding available. P50-million would cover the road opening of the remaining 2-kilometer stretch, including the construction of the Lobi Bridge. The remaining P18-million is intended for building the 30-meter Balagnon Bridge.
“If these entire projects will be completed (by 2013), the Burauen side of the road will be opened to traffic,” Junia said.
On the Albuera side, some 6-kilometers stretch remain to be opened which should meet the Burauen end when finished.
4th LED engineer Gonzales, on the other hand, said they have been apprised that funds are available to open the remaining portion by 2013 by the regional DPWH. Since the project amount is more than P 50-million, the bidding and supervision will be handled by the regional office.
Meanwhile, Richard Gomez, chief of staff of Cong. Lucy Torres-Gomez of the district, has suggested that if contractors are reluctant to bid for the project on the Albuera side because of the recent incidents between the Army and NPA, to enlist the help of the Army Engineering Brigade.
The same solution was applied on a critical stretch of road connecting Eastern Samar and Northern Samar provinces funded under the Millennium Development Goal grant that P-Noy was able to get from the United States during his state visit there.
Richard Gomez noted that an ABS-CBN donated classroom at Brgy. Salvacion was also constructed by the Army Engineering Brigade and it was not only finished on time but fostered closer relations between the rural folk there and the Army.
The national government has already poured in some P244-million for the road project. So far, only 2.17 kilometers of the road remains unopened at the Burauen side while another 6.26 kilometers have yet to be completed on the Albuera side which has been the situation since the time of Pres. Arroyo. It was started in 2008 but despite release of funds, was barely worked on.
The 36.22-kilometer road opening project cuts through rebel-influenced villages between Western and Northern Leyte and has been on the planning board since the time of the late Pres. Marcos.
If totally opened and concreted, travellers coming from the capital city of Tacloban to Ormoc City, a gateway to Central Visayas, will now only have to travel 89 kilometers instead of 107 kilometers.
Aside from shortened travel time, the new road will facilitate transport of farm produce from the previously hard-to-reach upland areas to major business hubs in Leyte. With the enhanced accessibility, the new road is envisioned to improve the peace and order and economic situation of the people where the road cuts through. with a report from PIA
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