The Regional Development Council VIII – Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RDC VIII-RPMC) inspected various road and bridge projects in the Province of Samar on 6-7 May 2021 as part of the 2nd Quarter 2021 RDC VIII-RPMC Field Monitoring Visit cum Validation.

The monitoring team visited the construction of by-passes/diversion roads and bridges in Basey – Maydolong; improvement/concreting of Brgy. Cogon through Brgy. Canca-iyas – Brgy.Villa Aurora Farm to Market Road; and road opening/concreting of Hinangutdan, Sta. Rita to San Roque, Villareal, Samar.

On the construction of by-passes/diversion roads and bridges in Basey – Maydolong, monitoring of the site showed that Package 1 of the project has suffered delays due to right-of-way (ROW) issues that caused a 200-meter gap in the road construction. Currently, physical accomplishment of the project is at 80% with a negative 15% slippage.

Slippage is defined as the difference between the actual accomplishment versus the target accomplishment in a particular period.

The contractors, a joint venture between Northern Builders and Etan Construction, committed to complete the project soon. Originally slated to be completed in November 2018, the project is now targeting a June 2021 completion date.

For their part, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) VIII has already asked the contractor to submit a catch-up plan and committed to closely supervise its execution. Furthermore, DPWH will provide the funding for the acquisition of the ROW and concreting of the 200-meter gap.

On the other hand, improvement/concreting of Brgy. Cogon thru Brgy. Canca-iyas – Brgy.Villa Aurora Farm to Market Road, part of the Philippine Rural Development Project, is already 21.14% completed. The project is ahead of schedule although the coming rainy season may cause a slowdown in the pace of construction. It is slated to be completed by the contractor, CDU Construction, by September of this year.

Similarly, Phase I of the concreting of local roads and bridges from Hinangutdan, Sta. Rita to San Roque, Villareal in Samar is ahead of schedule. Physical accomplishment of the project is at 47.48%. The project contractor, CDU Construction, is slated to finish the project by August 2021.

However, Phase II of the project was suspended in November last year due to the inaccessibility of the project site. Access to the site requires the crossing of a river. The contractor was able to transport a backhoe to the site and was able to start clearing and grubbing and subgrade preparation. Currently, the contractor is constructing a temporary bridge to be able to transport all the necessary materials and equipment. Construction of a permanent bridge is not part of the ongoing contract.

The contractor, Mindanao Rock, is currently being asked to submit a catch-up plan which will be closely monitored by the DPWH. Moreover, the DPWH has committed to provide funding for the construction of a permanent bridge on the site.

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Article and Photos by: Knulp Aseo, DRD and Ana Rose Magdalaga, PMED