23rd Yen Project a dream come true, says Rep. Mercado
By Bong Pedalino
SAN FRANCISCO, Southern Leyte (21 April) -- Lone District Representative Roger Mercado was filled with nostalgia as he recalled the circumstances since 1987 that ultimately led to the realization of “a dream come true”.
In a speech at the municipal gymnasium here Wednesday, April 18, marking the inauguration of the new concrete highway connecting Liloan to San Ricardo in Panaon island, Cong. Mercado recounted in vivid detail the people’s collective efforts in asking the government to have the dirt and potholed road cemented.
“This is a dream come true. In 1987 we have a promise to our people that if given a chance to serve we will work hard for the concreting of our road from Liloan to San Ricardo, and from Himay-angan to Silago, from Silago to Abuyog,” Cong. Mercado declared.
He said that after gathering resolutions from the barangays in the affected areas, and passing through the various development councils at the municipal, provincial, and regional levels up to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the matter was finally brought to the attention of Congress.
“In 1996 we approve Resolution Number 87 of the Congress of the Republic of the Philippines House of Representatives authored by your humble servant. (It was a) resolution urging the NEDA to include the concreting of certain roads in Southern Leyte in the 22nd yen loan credit package,” Cong. Mercado narrated.
He added that the said resolution was approved on December 12, 1996, signed by Speaker Jose De Venecia, Jr. and Secretary-General Roberto Nazareno, but it was bid during the time of Cong. Aniceto Saludo, Jr. and then again actual construction work started in his term in May 2004.
Apparently, It was noteworthy to notice that the resolution was not able to be included in the 22nd yen package, and thus was carried over to the 23rd yen loan package at the time of bidding and the consequent execution of the project.
“And now, April 18, 2007, three years after, the road concreting was finished,” he further said even as he noted that the Himay-angan to Silago side which was 97% completed, and from Silago to Abuyog portion, 91% completed.
“Let us thank God for helping us deliver on our promises,” Cong. Mercado stressed.
The lone Southern Leyte lawmaker quoted an earlier speech of DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan who hinted that having finished the main highways, the next focus would be the concreting of provincial roads, in particular the circumferential road in the same island of Panaon for inclusion in another yen package, the subject of House Resolution Number 922 he filed on August 23, 2005.
Also slated in a similar situation would be the concreting of a cross-country provincial road traversing the mountainous terrain from Saint Bernard to Hinunangan.
Having set-up the highway arteries, the solon said the next step would be to “sell Southern Leyte to the whole world, to invite investors.”
He said Japan was willing to put up a shipbuilding factory in the province, and he would suggest that it be installed anywhere in Panaon island. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]