Motorists who love road trips may get longer and nicer highways to run on in 2016 if all that the government budgeted for provincial road upgrades and rehabilitation falls into place.
Just yesterday, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) allocated PhP6.5 billion from the 2016 General Appropriations Act (GAA) in order to fix and upgrade provincial road in 73 provinces.
Despite the large sum, the budget is still relatively small, compared to the overall amount needed to rehabilitate all provincial roads, which is why provinces will be chosen on a performance-basis from good governance standards.
”These qualified provinces have not only met good governance standards and social development benchmarks, they have also established monitoring and evaluation mechanisms,” said DBM Secretary Florencio Abad.
Called KALSADA (Konkreto at Ayos na Lansangan at Daan Tungo sa Pangkalahatang Kaunlaran), the program will fix the provincial roads and develop the provincial road network before transferring it fully to the provincial government for maintenance and upkeep.
KALSADA is made possible with the help of the World Bank and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“This is the first time in Philippine local governance that the government is implementing a national incentive program for local road management to enhance connectivity and economic productivity,” said Bohol Gov., Edgar Chatto, Secretary-General of the League of Provinces of the Philippines.
“Provincial roads are the largest and most important asset being managed by provincial local governments. These road networks link national roads to areas of economic development, allow access to basic services, and serve as important conduits during conflict, crises, and calamities,” said DPWH Secretary, Rogelio L. Singson.
”With the rehabilitation and construction of national roads and bridges throughout the country, set to be completed by the end of 2016, arterial provincial roads and farm-to-market roads are next on our priority list. The government will need to invest in approximately 180,000 kilometers of local roads, 32,000 kilometers of provincial roads, 15,000 kilometers in cities, 4,000 kilometers in 1,400 municipalities, and about 129,000 kilometers in the 42,000 barangays across the country,” added Singson.
Motorists can go online at www.openroads.gov.ph to check which roads have been selected for rehab or upgrade and then track its progress from start to finish. The website will also contain provincial road network maps for reference.