Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Roger G. Mercado commended his men and women on the ground for achieving the “seemingly impossible” feat of reconnecting all Typhoon “Odette” severely damaged national road networks.
Secretary Mercado said that the DPWH has completed major emergency works on roads and bridges in areas affected by the typhoon within 15 days inasmuch as access is important, especially for the transport of relief and essential items.
The DPWH Secretary together with Undersecretaries Emil K. Sadain, Roberto R. Bernardo, and Eugenio R. Pipo Jr.; and Assistant Secretaries Wilfredo S. Mallari, Ador G. Canlas, and Antonio V. Molano Jr.; inspected on January 5-6, 2022 affected infrastructures in Cebu, Negros Oriental, Bohol, Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte, and Province of Dinagat Islands.
“Southern Cebu is again accessible to motorists after DPWH Regional Office 7 headed by Director Edgar Tabacon, Cebu 7th District Engineer Danilo Villa and QM Builders Engr. Allan Quirante worked round-the-clock for the immediate reopening of Sariling Bridge in Malabuyoc, Cebu”, added Secretary Mercado.
Secretary Mercardo personally spearheaded the distribution of about 500 bags of grocery items to the people of Malabuyoc, the southwestern town of Cebu previously cut-off due to the collapse of the Sariling Bridge approach along the national highway connecting the town to Alegria in the north and Ginatilan to the south.
DPWH Regional Office 7 with assistance of District Engineering Offices earlier facilitated the distribution of 500 packs of rice and goods in Alegria, Cebu and 750 packs in Negros Oriental.
Secretary Mercado with his party including General Robert Dauz, commander of the Philippine Army Visayas Command; Bureau of Maintenance Director Ernesto S. Gregorio Jr. , Stakeholders Relations Service OIC-Director Christine L. Ilagan; and Project Managers Francisco Sawali and Luis Paredes made a quick visit to Tanjay and Bais City, Negros Oriental; Trinidad, Bohol; Maasin City and Island Municipality of Limasawa in Southern Leyte; Surigao City and Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte; and Province of Dinagat Islands.
The DPWH officials were met in Siargao Island by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri with Surigao del Norte Governor Francisco Matugas and his wife, former Governor Sol Matugas, who together with DPWH Region 13 Director Pol Delos Santos and Assistant Director Abdulfatak Pandapatan welcomed the Secretary in Surigao City; Cebu 7th Congressional District Congressman Peter John Calderon in Malabuyoc, Cebu; Governor Roel R. Degamo, Congressman Manuel Sagarbarria and Bais Mayor Mercedes Teves Goñi in Negros Oriental; Governor Arthur Yap in Bohol; Governor Damian Mercardo with Maasin City Mayor Nikko Mercado and other Southern Leyte town mayors in Maasin City; Governor Arlene Bag-Ao and Congressman Alan Ecleo in Dinagat Islands; and Mayor Melchor P. Petracorta of Limasawa, Southern Leyte.
The Secretary also handed over to the local leaders cash donation pitched in from own pockets by the Department officials and employees as financial assistance for affected residents.
The Department launched its own donation drive called ‘Operation Malasakit’ participated by all of its 16 regions nationwide and is also providing logistical support in the delivery of other donations from both public and private sectors.
“We are grateful that DPWH officials and employees remain in solidarity and have been donating cash and relief items to support the urgent needs of our Kababayans“, said Secretary Mercado.