The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has completed its emergency maintenance works on several unpaved sections of the on-going road project in Zamboangay Sibugay Province.
Secretary Mark A. Villar said that repair and restoration were conducted at the five (5) slippery and muddy sections of Lutiman-Guicam-Olutanga Road after this on-going road improvement project implemented by the DPWH Unified Project Management Office Roads Management Cluster 2 (UPMO-RMC 2) have been hit hard by heavy rainfall in the area.
Secretary Villar added that a total of 24 units of heavy equipment particularly six (6) backhoe, two (2) road roller, four (4) road grader, one (1) payloader, and 11 dumptruck were immediately deployed for the repair of sections severely affected by bad weather condition which saturated the existing all-weather gravel surface road in the town of Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay.
In his report to Secretary Villar, Undersecretary for UPMO Operations Emil K. Sadain said the mobilized equipment and manpower resources of project contractor have worked to restore slippery and muddy sections with a total length of 1,070 lineal meters. The contractor has also committed in the August 28 coordination meeting to undertake maintenance of these unpaved sections to make it passable to all motorists even during rainy days.
Concreting works of the clay and slippery sections will only works best during dry season. Hence, these road sections will be maintained passable for the meantime this rainy season.
According to DPWH UPMO RMC 2 Project Director Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim, the full blown repair and restoration activities were carried out from September 3 to 8. However, the contractor under the close supervision of the assigned DPWH field engineers and consultants, made both lanes of the existing gravel road passable in September 6 to all vehicles considering that this route is the only road leading to Guicam Port, where vehicles including trucks loaded with products and other goods traversed in going to and from the neighboring island of Olutanga.
The 29.10 kilometer Lutiman-Guicam-Olutanga Road Project that started in March 2019 is among the core road projects in Zamboanga Peninsula of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-assisted Improving Growth Corridors for Mindanao Road Sector Project (IGCMRSP).
Although the project site is hampered by adverse weather condition, the accomplished full road width already paved with concrete cement is now at 6.24 kilometers out of the total 12 kilometers gravel road at the mainland side of the town of Alicia. The overall project component accomplishment is at 31 percent.
With the President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's administration giving the attention that Zamboanga Peninsula deserve for many years now, the roads for inclusive growth will be worked on as long as the weather allows, said Secretary Villar.
The improvement of the present four (4) to five (5)-meter wide provincial road made up of gravel and hardly passable during rainy season will improve mobility, connecting accessibility and safety, and reduced poverty in the project area of Alicia, Mabuhay, Talusan and Olutanga of Zamboanga Sibugay Province. It will lead to a ferry operation at Guicam Channel of about 440-meter width to connect Guicam to Mabuhay in Olutanga Island.
If weather permits, DPWH will be able to complete the improvement of this road network by 2021.
Meanwhile, two (2) other ADB-assisted projects namely the 23.73 kilometer Alicia-Malangas Road in Zamboanga Sibugay and Tampilisan-Sandayong Road in Zamboanga del Norte have posted an accomplishment of 31 and 27 percent, respectively.