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Doing the Right Projects, at the Right Cost and the Right Quality
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News 
12/31/05

PGMA INAUGURATES LONGEST BRIDGE IN TARLAC

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  PGMA INAUGURATES LONGEST BRIDGE IN TARLAC Inspired by the vision of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to link the remotest communities with the nation’s urbanized centers, the Department of Public Works and Highways Region III Office and its Tarlac Sub-District Engineering Office constructed the Sta. Rita Bridge in Concepcion, Tarlac, now touted as the biggest single project of the President in the province. Asst. Secretary Manuel S. Agyao, (right) briefs President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on the constructed Sta. Rita Bridge which took 7 years to complete. Looking on is Tarlac 3rd District Rep. Jesli Lapus. Right photo shows Asec Agyao and RD Ramon Aquino. Hundreds of residents of the ten outlying barangays across Parua river, and the neighboring towns of Concepcion trooped to the bridge on October 13 to witness the unveiling of the bronze marker and the inaugural drive thru of the President. Assistant Secretary Manuel S. Agyao, representing Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr., and Regional Director Ramon P. Aquino briefed the President on the project. The 297.80-lineal meter structure costing P134.266 million includes the constructed 622.20-lineal meter long approaches along the Magalang, Pampanga-Concepcion, Tarlac road over the Parua River. The said 10 far flung barangays have been totally isolated by floodwaters whenever the Parua River swells during heavy rains. Nagpapasalamat kami sa gobyerno at natupad na din ang pinangarap namin na makatawid nang mabilis sa Concepcion.” (“We are thankful to the government for having our dream come true – we can now traverse easily to Concepcion.”), quipped a mesmerized middle-aged farmer. Until recently, farmers from distant barangays across Parua River have to negotiate nearly half kilometer of rocky road and rough waters in bringing their crops and stuff to the market. The construction of the Sta. Rita bridge is expected to hasten the economic development of the adjacent municipalities, not to mention the ease and comfort at which the traveling public will enjoy in reaching their places of destination. Finish infrastructure constructions one at a time to serve their purpose” - Secretary Jun Ebdane The construction of the Sta. Rita Bridge is the realization of Secretaruy Jun Ebdane’s stand to always work for the total completion of projects, specifically bridge structures, to serve their purpose. The Secretary made this comment after he expressed his observation that requests for funding of projects are mostly for continuation of started projects without guarantee of finality. This is one way to save our resources. We must look at the totality of a completed project rather than resorting to piecemeal construction that take a long time to finish.”  
 
12/31/05

DPWH REGION III LAUNCHES GMA JOB CREATION PROGRAM

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  DPWH REGION III LAUNCHES GMA JOB CREATION PROGRAM Photos (clockwise) show Sec. Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr. delivering the keynote speech; the representatives of the participating agencies; the 600-workforce coming from the 7 provinces of Central Luzon; and RD Ramon Aquino while delivering a message. Secretary Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr. led the launching yesterday (May 15) of the nationwide job creation roadside maintenance program dubbed as the Programang Pangtrabaho ni Pangulong GLORIA at the Gapan-San Fernando-Olongapo Road in front of Carworld in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. Some 600 workers from the seven provinces of Central Luzon (Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales) gathered in full force in their blue and white workers’ suit together with their construction implements. All district engineers and assistant district engineers were also present in a show of support to the activity and to boost the morale of their respective workers. In his keynote speech, Sec. Ebdane announced that 17,200 people are targeted to be employed nationwide under the program planned to last initially for 8 months covering the period from May 15 to January 2007. Each worker will be paid P231 daily for working on the road maintenance project which covers cleaning and clearing of drainage systems, sidewalks and waterway easements; vegetation control; beautification; and minor repair activities such as crack sealing. Initial funding of P500 million charged against the Motor Vehicles Users Charge (MVUC) of the Road Board and chaired by the DPWH has been ordered released by the Department of Budget and Management. The Office of the Presidential Assistant for Job Creation (OPAJC) heads the Task Force for implementation. Under the program some 2,300 OSY in Central Luzon alone will be hired to maintain roadsides in the region. Director Ramon Aquino has ordered his District Engineers and Maintenance Engineers to maximize the utilization of workers and select those who have potentials for training in minor road and equipment repair. Joining the DPWH in the undertaking are the Department of Social Welfare and Development(DSWD) and Philippine National Police (PNP) which shall handle the screening and recruitment of qualified workers; the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) which is tasked to monitor and conduct performance assessment of the Program; and the Public Information Agency (PIA) which is in charge of information dissemination. Also present in the successful launch were Undersecretary Salvador Pleyto; ARDs Jesus Salmo and Marcelina Ocampo; Region III staff; and the media. From other agencies were Director Margarita Sampang, DSWD; Director Josefina Castilla-Go, DILG; and Ms. Erlinda Yutuc of PIA. Full media coverage was arranged by PRO Adora Sunga.  
 
12/31/05

DPWH-3 BRINGS GOVERNMENT SERVICE TO THE PEOPLE

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  DPWH-3 BRINGS GOVERNMENT SERVICE TO THE PEOPLE The second leg of DPWH-III's People's Day was held on May 5 at Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija. On instructions of RD Ramon Aquino, around 100 residents of Barangay Rajal and nearby communities were gathered in the meeting and were briefed by DPWH officials on the details of the Rajal Farm-to-Market Road Rehabilitation project which was started on May 6. Included in the program of work are the concreting of some 465 meters and regraveling of 5,400 meters of intermittent sections. The source of fund amounting to P2 million is the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). At least 400 families whose livelihood depends on farming will benefit from it including hundreds of farmers working on approximately 1,000 hectares of farmlands. Present in the consultation meeting were (from the Regional Office): ARD Jesus Salmo;; Construction Division Chief Efren Pacson; RPO Chief Juanito Reguyal; CARP Coordinator Loreta Malaluan; Engr. Ana Marie Tayag, and PRO Adora Sunga. (Nueva Ecija 2nd DEO): NE 2nd DE Manuel Alejo; Engr. Leopoldo Victorio; and Engr. Rolly Escuadro.  
 
12/31/05

RD AQUINO ORDERS CONSULTATION WITH LOCAL FOLKS IN PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION

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  RD AQUINO ORDERS CONSULTATION WITH LOCAL FOLKS IN PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION Public Works and Highways Region-III Director Ramon Aquino and his project staff are now vigorously implementing a program of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of reaching out to direct beneficiaries and affected communities of infrastructure projects scheduled for implementation in his area of jurisdiction. Following orders from Secretary Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr., Aquino called a consultative dialogue with the municipal Mayors of Bongabon, Gabaldon and Laur of Nueva Ecija on the proposed plan of the DPWH to repair and rehabilitate the Danglan and Digmala River Control in Bongabon and Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija, respectively. Danglan and Digmala River systems have been identified to have caused inundation in the low-lying barangays and feared to cause severe damage to agricultural crops and residential areas in case of heavy rains due to breaching of the dike. Damage is further aggravated by unregulated diggings along the river channel causing erosion of protective dikes and their virtual collapse. RD Ramon Aquino atop the dike in Digmala River in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija with NE 2nd DE Manuel Alejo Quarrying activity was being undertaken at the time of inspection on March 28, 2006 The briefing was conducted by Planning and Design Division Assistant Head Engr. Ethel Manalo who discussed the damage extent and the limited funds available for which she stressed the need for prioritizing the works on the most critical sections to maximize the use of said funds. The proposed activities were the diversion of flow through the pilot channel, restoration of breached sections; surplus common excavation; provision of concrete slope protection along beached and critical sections; and provision of boulder spur dikes along meandering sections. (L-R) Engr. Ethel Manalo, DE Manuel Alejo; Mayor D. Mandia, Engr. Juanito Reguval and ARD na Ocampo Right photo shows Laur Mayor Blas Canlas, Gabaldon Mayor Beth Gamilla, Gabaldon’s Municipal Engineer; and Engr. Arlet Guzman of the Regional Office.  
 
12/31/05

NEW ROAD CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE WORKS

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  NEW ROAD CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE WORKS DPWH Region III is now working full blast in the construction of the P332 million, 22.7-kilometer new road from Gapan-San Fernando-Olongapo (GSO) Road to Subic (in Zambales) as part of the condition for the $1.2 billion ship-building facility now being built by the Korean firm Hanjin. Presently, some 20 kilometers of the mountain terrain in Castillejos, Zambales has been leveled and some three kilometers asphalted for a direct route to the project site. The DPWH is out to undertake early this year the P1.5 billion widening of the GSO road starting from Gugu Bridge in Bacolor to Sta. Cruz Bridge in Lubao, Pampanga. These two bridges will also be replaced into 4 lanes. The P1.5 billion funds for the project is from a Korean loan. It will also include dredging of the Porac-Gumain river which was silted by lahar debris from Mt. Pinatubo. Likewise, the DPWH is considering the proposal of San Fernando Mayor Oscar Rodriguez to extend the project up to the intersection of the GSO and the MacArthur Highway in the capital city. “We are favorably considering this as the extra length that would be required is not much,” said Director Aquino.  
 
12/31/05

PERMANENT REPLACEMENT OF SAN FERNANDO TEMPORARY FLYOVER PROPOSED

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  PERMANENT REPLACEMENT OF SAN FERNANDO TEMPORARY FLYOVER PROPOSED (Left photo) Director Ramon P. Aquino, (right), discusses with Pampanga 3rd District Representative Rey B. Aquino (2nd from right) the proposed replacement into permanent structure of the San Fernando Flyover steel bridge at the junction of the Manila North Road (MNR) and the Gapan-San Fernando-Olongapo Road (GSO). Recently, the temporary flyover has caught the attention of local residents due to the clanking sound created by passing vehicles. Said sound is being attributed to alleged weakness of the structure. According to Planning and Design Chief Albin Carreon, PhD, (3rd from right) the proposed replacement is incorporated in the President’s Bridge Program which is now under detailed engineering status. On January 19, the Mabey Johnson consultants started its studies and coordination efforts with concerned stakeholders regarding traffic volume, effectiveness of on-going road widening activities, and re-evaluation of the geometric design of the intersection based on present condition. Photo at right shows the San Fernando Flyover which was built in August 2003. During the inspection made on January 14, 2006, Director Aquino also reiterated his request for support on Region III’s proposal for the construction of a drainage system running from Angeles City to the City of San Fernando as a means to alleviate if not totally address the problem of flooding in the low-lying areas of Pampanga. Others in photo are (L-R) Engr. Juanito Reguyal, Chief of the Road Project Office; Eric Dunglao, and Project Engineers William Bustos and Rosbe Dizon. The group also inspected the on-going activities along the Manila North Road which widening and improvement activities are now in full swing. Report from the Construction Division said that the widening project has already posted a 50% accomplishment rate as of date. Completion of the whole project, which is sub-divided into 5 packages, is targeted on May 2006. A coordination meeting with the contractors’ group and the Regional Project Engineers was held at Bulacan 1st DEO on the same day. Director Aquino instructed all concerned contractors and project engineers to address the remaining minor problems of utility services like the transfer of affected PELCO electrical posts and Smart transmission boxes. Assisting Director Aquino were his staff: ARDs Jesus Salmo and Marcelina Ocampo; Construction Chief Efren Pacson; Chief of Staff Loreta Malaluan; and PIO Adora Sunga.  
 
12/31/05

Secretary Ebdane Inspects Bocaue Flyover, MNR Widening Projects

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  Secretary Ebdane Inspects Bocaue Flyover, MNR Widening Projects Secretary Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr. made a brief inspection of the on-going construction of the flyover in Bocaue, Bulacan on May 18, 2006 to ensure the integrity of the piers and abutments already in place. He assured the residents and the local media that the project will be completed by July 2006. The bridge has a length of 260 meters and 6-span steel flyover with its design supplied by Mabey and Johnson Limited of the United Kingdom. According to President's Bridge Program (PBP) Executive Director Emil K. Sadain, the superstructure or the steel bridging components fabricated in London are expected to arrive before end of May in time for the installation and early launching. The Bocaue Flyover which is one of the major showcases of the PBP has already 19 bored piling works completed while the concrete capping is nearly finished. Sadain said the PBP has posted 94.56 percent accomplishments nationwide. (Left photo): Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr. tries an anchor bolt setting in an abutment of the Bocaue flyover located at the junction of Manila North Road and Gov. Halili Road in Bulacan which construction is now underway. Briefing the Secretary are RD Ramon P. Aquino and PBP's Executive Director Emil K. Sadain. (Right photo) A sign board from an establishment is being removed by Bulacan 1st DEO maintenance crew on strict orders of Director Ramon P. Aquino to expedite road widening to complement the flyover and facilitate its speedy construction. SHEE Orders Immediate Clearing and Cleaning of Malolos Flyover Access Road: (Left Photo) RD Ramon Aquino stresses the need to widen the road to at least 5 meters both sides to provide easier access for vehicles. He committed to expedite the widening of the Bocaue portion to complement the flyover. Others in photo are ARD Marcelina Ocampo, Road Program Office Head Juanito Reguyal; Bulacan 1st DE Mar Mendiola and ARD Jesus Salmo. (Right photo) Bulacan 1st District Engineer Marcelo Mendiola briefs SHEE, RD Ramon Aquino and PBP Director Emil Sadain of the extent of the widening activity to be done under the Malolos Flyover to ease the traffic flow, while ARD Jesus Salmo (left), listens intently. The Malolos Flyover's design and bridging components were also supplied by Mabey and Johnson Ltd.  
 
12/31/05

DPWH REGION III JIBES WELL WITH LOCAL POLS

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  DPWH REGION III JIBES WELL WITH LOCAL POLS "Deal with politicians with all courtesy, but always assert the policies of our Agency," said Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr. to the top officials of DPWH during the September 2005 staff meeting held in Pampanga. The Secretary was referring to the perception by the public and the agency's clientele of political interventions in the affairs of the DPWH. While laying his policy guidelines to the group which include all Regional Directors, Bureau and Service Chiefs, Project Managers and staff of the agency, each of the officials was given time to discuss all concerns and issues of their respective units. Region III Shows 'em How! In an unprecedented move, District Engineer Hernando Manansala of Pampanga 2nd District Engineering Office in a civilly worded letter to one of the municipal mayors of his district, requested "that all projects under Memorandum of Agreement with his district office be completed by October 30, 2005." This, after Pampanga 2nd ranked poorly in its over-all performance rating ending August 2005. For the past several rating periods, the office has been on top of the 14 districts of Region III. In fact, it is a consistent recipient of commendations from the Regional Office for outstanding and high quality performance RD Ramon Aquino has been successful in his crusade to establish good relations with the local officials as well as with the national government and private agencies all over Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales. "LGU's are our partners in speedy implementation of projects. They play an important role in the release of funds which hastens the completion of quality projects, " Aquino said. As a matter of fact, Dir. Aquino has been relentless in his efforts to ensure that DPWH Region III office is properly represented in all local coordination meetings and conferences sponsored by the LGU' when invited. DE Hernando Manansala, is one of the most senior and most respected District Engineers of the DPWH who has a long track record of exemplary performance and whose integrity as a government official has continued to be a legacy to his peers.  
 
12/31/05

24 BRIDGES ALONG MANILA NORTH ROAD DUE FOR WIDENING /REPLACEMENT

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  About 24 bridges along the Manila North Road (MNR) popularly known as MacArthur Highway spanning from Bulacan to Tarlac City will be replaced and retrofitted as part of the P3 billion rehabilitation program of the government. Director Ramon Aquino, during the coordination meeting held in Bulacan 1st District Office in Malolos City last January 14, 2006 said that 12 bridges will be retrofitted and widened to complement with the soon-to-be finished widening into four lanes of the 33-kilometer roadway, while another 12 bridges which have deteriorated and weakened due to old age will be replaced. We have to make the bridges proportionate to the width of the highway to avoid traffic build-up toward bridge approaches, in the same manner that we have to replace old ones he said. Director Aquino explained that the replacement and retrofitting of bridges will make up the second phase of the DPWH’s MNR project. Phase I involve widening of roadway and is now 60% completed except for drainages costing P500 million. Phase III covers the overlaying of the entire length of the highway including the installation of safety features. All the three phases will cost some P3 billion when completed in 2008. Aquino added that retrofitting of bridges is expected to be finished by middle of next year, while the construction of drainages under Phase I is expected to be started soon. Meanwhile, DPWH Region III’s Planning and Design Division is now conducting detailed engineering of the 24 bridges from Bulacan to Tarlac City. At present, DPWH-Region III is working on the retrofitting of the old Meycauayan Bridge in Meycauayan, Bulacan to arrest building of traffic once the widening activity is completed.  
 
12/31/05

"CONCRETE REVETMENT IN CANDABA, PAMPANGA INTACT,"- AQUINO

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  "CONCRETE REVETMENT IN CANDABA, PAMPANGA INTACT,"- AQUINO Amid allegations of substandard repair works at the Candaba section of the Arrnedo Dike in Pampanga, Regional Director Ramon Aquino stood pat on the integrity of the concrete revetment which the Department of Public Works and Highways did last year. According to Aquino, flooding in Candaba and other low-lying areas was caused by the overtopping of the dike. Aquino was reacting to the claim of Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo that "the breaching was caused by the substandard repair works done by the DPWH wasting the P15 Million released for the repair works of the selected portions of the 38-kilometer Arnedo dike." Based on the inspection report submitted by the Pampanga 1st DEO which has jurisdiction over the project, the structures in barangays Mandasig and Lanang, in Candaba remain intact and have been free from damages. The engineers conducted an ocular inspection of the alleged damaged portions on September 20, 2005. According to Director Aquino, all other concrete portions in Apalit, San Simon and Candaba that were plugged with sandbags last year have withstood the strong current at the Pampanaga River. As part of its contingency plans, the DPWH had set aside a backup supply of sand and sacks in coordination with the LGU. Left photo shows the concrete revetment along Mandasig portion (Candaba) of Arnedo dike which remains intact despite heavy floodwaters at the Pampanga River. At right is the Lanang portion, also in Candaba which has incurred no damage as reported in the papers. Both photos were taken on September 20 and 17, respectively. Aquino said the DPWH has continued to do emergency measures despite the advice of flood control experts to "leave Candaba alone since it is a natural levee." Last year, Director Aquino sought the technical opinion of the consultants from the Flood Control Sabo Engineering Center (FCSEC) after the Candaba Mayor blamed the DPWH for the flooding. In the report of the FCSEC, the experts recommended the evacuation of residents during rainy season instead of pursuing engineering works stressing that all constructions within the dike would be futile. They added that information dissemination and education of the townsfolk must be undertaken by the local government prior the onset of the typhoon months. With regards to the proposal of the Candaba Mayor to construct a cut-off channel for the Mandasig dike in Candaba to ease the pressure on the mammoth Arnedo dike, Aquino has directed his staff to conduct an in-depth study that will look into the effects on the multitudes of people at the downstream portion of the dike. In last year's study, JICA experts said that the cut-off channel "is just a small segment and has no great effect on the flow capacity of the river." "Let us not be parochial in addressing the problem. If we are to save the people of Candaba, let us also consider the rest of the barangays that may also be adversely affected by the cut-off channel," said Aquino.  
 
12/31/05

REGION III PURSUES EXCAVATION OF STO. TOMAS RIVER IN ZAMBALES

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  REGION III PURSUES EXCAVATION OF STO. TOMAS RIVER IN ZAMBALES On orders of Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr., Region III Director Ramon Aquino has instructed the Mt. Pinatubo Rehabilitation Project Division (MPRPD) to go full blast in the excavation and pilot channeling of Sto. Tomas River specifically at the downstream portion of Maculcul Bridge in San Felipe and San Narciso, Zambales. This, after the Department of Budget Management released the initial funding of P10 million which is allotted to the desilting and pilot channeling of the river by 304 meters width, 1.181 kilometers length, and 2.00 meters height at the downstream of the Maculcul Bridge. During his inspection trip on September 15, 2005, Ebdane said that in critical times, "it is better to implement palliative measures rather than not doing anything at all." The Secretary was justifying the advance work being done by the agency amid fear of late release of the budget. He said that the national government is more concerned on the general welfare of the people who might be affected in case a worse scenario happens. According to OIC-ARD Marcelina Ocampo, who is concurrent Chief of the MPRP, the 400-meter Maculcul bridge has, for several times, been inundated by lahar flows coming from the uplands. These inundations have caused the accumulation of silt underneath the bridge and has since been feared of being overtopped. Before the desilting operations in April, 2005, the bridge's freeboard clearance has been rendered zero. Both sides of the existing dikes are deep in lahar which, if not excavated, may threaten the lives and properties of the locality in case of heavy rains. The project is being implemented by administration using government-owned scrapers, bulldozers and backhoes. Bulk of the funds will go to fuel, lubricants and minor spare parts. Meanwhile, pre-construction activities are now underway for the construction of a parabolic bridge that will replace Maculcul Bridge. At least P240 million has been earmarked for the two-way superstructure of which P50 million has already been released. Left photo shows Sec. Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr. (3rd from right) looking over the excavation being done at the Sto. Tomas River during his inspection on September 15, 2005. Right photo shows the nearly zero freeboard clearance of the Maculcul Bridge while several equipment undertake round-the-clock desilting works. Others in photo are RD Ramon Aquino, Presidential Bridge Program Dir. Emil Sadain, ARD Jesus Salmo, OIC-ARD Marcelina Ocampo and Zambales 2nd DEO DE Edward Ramos.  
 
12/31/05

IMPROVEMENT/WIDENING OF MANILA NORTH ROAD (MNR)

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  IMPROVEMENT/WIDENING OF MANILA NORTH ROAD (MNR) Scope of Work: a. Widening of existing two (2) lanes Roadway to four (4) lanes b. Upgrading of Flood Prone Sections c. Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Drainage Canal OVERALL ACCOMPLISHMENT (AS OF DECEMBER 2, 2005) = 31.74% PROJECT CONTRACTOR/ CONTRACT AMOUNT CONTRACT START/TARGET DATE OF COMPLETION DURATION STATUS PACKAGE I MEYCAUAYAN - MARILAO - BOCAUE BULACAN SECTION LIMITS - Km. 20+000 – 26+000 with exception (81.55 l.m.) NET LENGTH- Road - 5,918.45 l.m. Dimson (Manila) Inc. (P88,097,284.30 September 11, 2005/ March 9, 2006 Ongoing Accomp.=31.47% Slippage = + 016% PACKAGE II BALAGTAS – GUIGUINTO, BULACAN SECTION LIMITS - Km 30+07 - Km. 36+286.5 with exception (175.80 l.m.) NET LENGTH - Road - 6,032.45 l.m Canal - 4,880.00 l.m. Pentagon Industrial Development & Construction Co.,Inc. P87,050,310.53 September 6, 2005/ March 4, 2006 Ongoing Accomp.= 33.08% Slippage= + 0.76% PACKAGE III MALOLOS – CALUMPIT SECTION LIMITS - Km. 44+000 – Km. 51+330 with exception NET LENGTH - Road - 6,924.80 L.R. Tiqui Builders, Inc. P89,250,201.74 September 6, 2005/ March 4, 2006 Ongoing Accomp.= 47.291% Slippage = +0.331% PACKAGE IV APALIT-SAN SIMON-MINALIN-STO. TOMAS CITY OF SAN FERNANDO & MABALACAT LIMITS - Km. 53+000 – Km.67+000 with exception Km.92+828 – Km.94+498.80 NET LENGTH - Road - R.D. Policarpio/ Haidee Const. (J.V.) P153, 858,941.24 Ongoing Accomp. =18.62% PACKAGE V- TARLAC Km. 118+700 to Km 119+388.40 km. 124+680 to Km.124+940 Km.129+390 to Km.132+500/ Road=3,95.40 l.m. Northern Builders P47, 288,722.97 Ongoing Accomp.= 43.10% Slippage = +41.90%  
 
12/31/05

MANILA NORTH ROAD (MNR) IMPROVEMENT/WIDENING UPDATE

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  MANILA NORTH ROAD (MNR) IMPROVEMENT/WIDENING UPDATE There is no holding back the present on-going activities along the five major portions of the Manila North Road (MNR) which is now being widened for use of motorists who cannot afford the exorbitant toll fees at the parallel North Luzon Expressway (NLEx). Public Works and Highways Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr. ordered Director Ramon Aquino to fast track the said project following his inspection of the activities’ progress last August18, 2005. Ebdane, who visited the area with Undersecretary Manuel Bonoan and Assistant Secretary Manuel Agyao, said he has been instructed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to closely supervise the P1.2 billion widening project of the 120-kilometer highway to make sure it meets the December 2005 deadline. The project starts from Meycauayan, Bulacan and ends at Tarlac City. The construction limits has been divided into five packages.- - Meycauayan-Marilao, Bocaue section in Bulacan; Balagtas-Guiguinto section, Bulacan; Malolos section, Bulacan; Apalit-Mabalacat, Pampanga; and Tarlac City. Ebdane said owners of malls and big commercial establishments along the MNR must be advised to construct detour roads, at their expense, behind their buildings to arrest the problem of heavy traffic. The construction of commercial and residential structures along the 120-km MacArthur Highway from Meycauayan, Bulacan to Tarlac City. He likewise ordered a ban on the construction of malls and other big commercial establishments within a kilometer distance from the highway. Widening of the highway between Meycauayan and Malolos City in Bulacan was started last May. Major problems on the acquisition of road-right-of-way have been resolved. The permission for the cutting/transfer of affected trees is now awaiting approval at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Meanwhile, utility service providers have started transferring their transmission poles and boxes at their own expense. Aquino said that informal settles along the highway were being assisted by the government to dismantle their structure to clear their frontages at least 15 meters from the center of the roads.  
 
12/31/05

SEC. EBDANE INSPECTS MANILA NORTH ROAD ORDERS IMMEDIATE REPAIR OF DAMAGED ROADS

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  SEC. EBDANE INSPECTS MANILA NORTH ROAD ORDERS IMMEDIATE REPAIR OF DAMAGED ROADS Public Works and Highways Region III Director Ramon Aquino leads the massive repair of major thoroughfares along Manila North Road (popularly known as MacArthur Highway) in response to the strict orders of Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane for the immediate repair of all roads nationwide damaged by the recent heavy rains caused by previous weather disturbances. In Central Luzon alone, a total of 127,686.80 square meters of national road pavements was damaged. Out of these, some 78,212.08 sq. meters has already been repaired which translates to 61.25% accomplishment rate. The remaining unfinished portion is expected to be completed by next week. DPWH Region III Director Aquino said that his office has mounted an aggressive stand, particularly in patching of potholes to give the riding public convenience and comfort especially along the Manila North Road whose rehabilitation and widening is now in full swing. He added that smooth carriageway will help motorists in saving maintenance cost for their vehicles and will pave the way for energy-saving. Ebdane has previously called for the use of all available equipment, asphalt materials and field workers to undertake the restoration works. During his inspection of the Manila North Road, Ebdane expressed his satisfaction over the activities being undertaken by the Regional Office. MAP SHOWING THE MANILA NORTH ROAD (formerly Mc Arthur Highway)  
 
12/31/05

MANILA NORTH ROAD REHAB STARTS

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  MANILA NORTH ROAD REHAB STARTS Region III Director Ramon P. Aquino announced the official start of the P500-million widening and improvement project of the Mac Arthur Highway, now Manila North Road in Bulacan and Pampanga to prepare it as a toll-free alternative road to the North Luzon Expressway. In a meeting held on May 17, at Bulacan 1st DEO in Malolos, Bulacan, MNR Rehabilitation Project Manager and Regional Construction Chief Efren V. Pacson and DE Marcel;o Mendiola presided over the final discussions on the highways widening project. Vehicle re-routing schemes were firmed up, in coordination with the PNP-Traffic Management Bureau and the affected local government units. Representatives of the contractors were present who agreed to complete and installation of traffic re-routing directional signs in time for the start of actual construction works. Traffic buildup is expected as soon as excavation starts. Earlier, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered DPWH Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr. to speed up the construction of the project in response to the commuters’ clamor who cannot afford to use NLEX. Engr. Efren V. Pacson, Regional Construction Chief and designated Project Manager of the MNR widening project has instructed the contractors to speed up the installation of alternate route signs for the benefit of the motoring public. Billboards bearing the project profile was also ordered placed along public places. The project would be undertaken in 5 packages. Package I covers from Meycauayan-Marilao- Bocaue, costing P95.2M; Package II – Balagtas-Guiguinto, P96.5M; Package III – Malolos-Calumpit, P97.2M; Package IV-Apalit-City of San Fernando, Pampanga, P106M; and Package VI- Tarlac, P50M. The scope of works for the MNR rehabilitation project includes widening and concreting, upgrading and provision of concrete lined canal, all with exceptions. As of this writing, the Bulacan-Pampanga area has been almost cleared of structures illegally built along road-right-of way that include shanties, concrete commercial and residential buildings. The DPWH Regional Office has also met with representatives from PLDT, Smart, Globe, MERALCO and other utility companies who volunteered to transfer their transmission and distribution lines. Structures found to have encroached the highway were dismantled and others were ordered moved away from the roadside to at least 10 meters away from the centerline. Meanwhile, the Regional Office is still awaiting the approval of its application for an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the cutting of trees to be affected by the highway widening project. In Bulacan 1st DEO alone, some 1,116 big and small trees have been identified to be removed. District Engineer Marcelo Mendiola, clarified, however, that the DENR may implement a remove-and-replant scheme and that trees which are deemed not to gravely obstruct the highway may be spared. Click here to view MNR WIDENING/IMPROVEMENT PROJECT DATA:  
 
12/31/05

AQUINO ORDERS INSTALLATION OF WARNING SIGNS ALONG MNR; REACTIVATES MOTORISTS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR UNDAS

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  AQUINO ORDERS INSTALLATION OF WARNING SIGNS ALONG MNR; REACTIVATES MOTORISTS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR UNDAS Regional Director Ramon P. Aquino directed the contractors and project engineers working on the rehabilitation and widening of the Manila North Road to install appropriate warning signs and devices in construction sites for the benefit of the traveling public. The commemoration of All Saints' Day on November 1 and 2, is expected to pose a significant increase in the number of motorists that will ply the highway. During the 6th coordination meeting of contractors and DPWH field engineers of the Manila North Road Widening Project held on October 21 in Marilao, Bulacan, Aquino also reiterated the instruction of Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr. to activate the Motorists Assistance Program (MAP) of the region for the millions of the Filipino faithful who are expected to troop to cemeteries to visit their dead on November 1 and 2. Due to the projected longer vacation period, Secretary Ebdane extended the duration of the Program to November 3. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo earlier declared November 1 and 4 as holidays. October 31, which falls on a Monday was declared a special non-working day because it comes before a regular holiday, All Saints' Day on Nov. 1. November 4 is the Muslim celebration of Eid-ul Fitr marking the end of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan which is a national non-working holiday. Since November 5 and 6 will be Saturday and Sunday, respectively, workers and students are expected to have an extended vacation. Aquino ordered the deployment of heavy equipment like loaders, bulldozers, service vehicles, backhoe, elves and graders whose operators are on-call for any contingencies. Members of the MAP are further required to submit terminal reports for all assistance rendered. The 120-kilometer Manila North Road running from Meycauayan, Bulacan to Tarlac City is now being widened to become a free alternate route to the parallel North Expressway whose toll fee is too exorbitant to ordinary motorists. Present during the meeting presided over by Dir. Aquino were ARDs Jesus Salmo and Marcelina Ocampo; Regional Chief Construction Engineer Efren Pacson; Planning & Design Chief Albin P. Carreon; MQCHD Chief Lucito Sibug; Road Program Office Chief Juanito Reguyal; Tarlac 1st DE Ador Canlas; Chief of Staff Loreta Malaluan and Regional Information Officer Adora Sunga. It was attended by all Project Engineers, Materials Engineers, Resident Engineers of all 5 packages; and their counterparts in the contractors' side. "We have opened all communication lines to contractors, officials, media and the public in the implementation of this undertaking to make the integrity of the project above board," said Aquino. The director has ordered a weekly coordination meeting with the contractors of all 5 contract packages of MNR rehabilitation works which will cost approximately P1.5 billion including construction of bridge structures and drainage systems. At present, all the contractors are working under the initial fund of P500 million. Problems on road-right-of way acquisition, transfer of transmission lines of communication, electric and water utilities and affected trees are the main agenda of the weekly meetings. The meetings also deal with other concerns of the contractors. After this 6th meeting, engineers agree that major and minor concerns have been fully addressed that will now pave the way for the speedy and smooth flow of construction activities of the project. If good weather condition continues, the rehab project is expected to be substantially completed by the end of the year.  
 
 
 
 

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