DPWH pledges to work '24/7' to complete Surigao-Davao Coastal Road project

Responding to the clamor by residents here for the expeditious completion of the Surigao-Davao Coastal Road project, Public Works and Highways Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. today pledged his agency and all the contractors involved in the project would work "24/7" to complete it as soon as possible.

Ebdane made the pledge to the people of Mindanao and to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself whom he joined in a regional 2-on-1 media interview on board a roll-on roll-off vessel bound for San Ricardo port in Southern Leyte from the Verano port here this morning.

In answer to a question fielded by a reporter from Surigao who asked for the estimated completion time of the Surigao-Davao coastal road project which importance the President stressed, Ebdane said they will complete the project before yearend.

"So far, out of the 300-plus kilometers (of the Surigao-Davao road project) from Surigao City to the boundary of Davao Oriental, we have been working to cement 109-kilometers and we have already accomplished 39-kilometers. We hope to complete (the remainder) by December (2009)," Ebdane said.

"But you're supposed to be working 24/7," the President interjected to which Ebdane answered; "Yes Ma'am. We will comply."

The Davao-Surigao coastal-road project is one of the major road-network projects President Arroyo has directed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to complete as part of her legacy to the Filipino people.

The different sections of the eastern Mindanao road network are in various stages of completion, with the southernmost section, the Mati-Manay stretch in Davao Oriental, already completed last year.

Work on the southernmost portion of the seven-section road network covering 66.85 kilometers was started in October 2004 and was finished last September. Work on the other six sections were started in 2007.

The adjacent Boston-Manay section in northern Davao Oriental, covering 83.89 kilometers, is 52.54 percent completed. The Bislig--Boston section covering 72.39 kilometers, is now 61.1 complete while the 89.06-kilometer Marihatag-Hinatuan-Bislig section that is now 51.16% complete.

The Cortes-Tandag-Marihatag section, also in Surigao del Sur, covering 75 kilometers is 31.22-percent. The Adlay-Bon-ot section in Surigao del Norte was bidded out in June last year but contractor, until recently, was still awaiting the release of funds to start construction.

The last section, the 40-kilometer Bacuag-Claver section, is already 60.42-percent complete.

Ebdane said he will make sure the road project is completed by December this year.

Surigao Today

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