MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has allotted 78% of its 2012 capital outlay budget for road projects nationwide.
In a statement, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson said the agency will spend P78.099 billion of its P99.49 billion budget for the rehabilitation, widening, upgrading and construction of national roads to help meet its target of paving all national roads by 2014, and secondary roads by 2016.
"The DPWH, true to its mandate, should focus its efforts on improving the quality and safety of our national roads, which, unfortunately was neglected in the past due to a poor selection and subjective process in the prioritization of national road projects," Singson said.
Based on DPWH records, 91% of the total 15,872 kilometers of arterial roads and 71% of the total 15,370 km secondary roads in the country have already been paved.
Overall, about 81% of the total national road network is paved, of which 15% needs to be rehabilitated, Singson added.
Meanwhile, of 345,978 lineal meters of national bridges, 10,594 are scheduled for reconstruction, 40,675 are due for repair or rehabilitation, and 10,935 lineal meters of temporary bridges will be made permanent.
For this year, the DPWH prioritizes the upgrading of quality and safety of national roads by concreting and/or widening of arterial roads leading to tourism destinations, airports, RORO ports, food production areas and economic zones.
"With the implementation of World Bank-assisted International Road Assessment Program or iRAP Philippines, the DPWH aims to adhere to international safety standards," noted Singson.
The iRAP project, together with DPWH, has conducted assessment of the country's national roads in terms of safety and road worthiness for the users.
Singson assured the public that government resources will go to the right projects, with the right cost and quality.