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PIA Press Release

Andaya Highway rehab completed in October; Congressman Arroyo, DPWH chief conduct occular

by LS Macatangay

Ragay, Camarines Sur (5 September) -- Congressman Diosdado Ignacio "Dato" Macapagal-Arroyo (Camarines Sur 1st district) and Public Works and Highways Secretary Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr. on Monday, September 3, conducted an inspection of the on-going rehabilitation and blocking of the 28-kilometer stretch of the Rolando Andaya Highway in Camarines Sur a major part of the Pan Philippine Highway.

After a briefing by DPWH Bicol regional director Orlando Roces on the status of the project, Ebdane and Arroyo proceeded to the areas tagged as accident-prone sites particularly at Barangay Agrupacion this town where recently a tragic road accident occurred.

Last August 28, Andaya Highway claimed four more casualties, an addition to the long list of killed passengers due to accidents that happened in the said area. The victims who were proclaimed dead on arrival at the Bicol Medical Center, were onboard a van traveling southbound that collided with a Raymond Bus going to Manila.

Ebdane said that Congressman Dato Arroyo"s request for a site inspection was also in conjunction with the upcoming celebration of the Penafrancia Fiesta which yearly lures a lot of devotees from Metro-Manila and other neighboring provinces as well as foreign visitors flocking to Naga City, every second week of September each year

Being the fastest route to get to the festival, the Andaya Highway have to bear the brunt of incoming and outgoing vehicles conveying visitors to Naga City for the Penafrancia festivities which foir this year will start this coming Friday, September 7.

Director Roces in his briefing, said the rehabilitation phase of the Andaya Highway, which includes slope protection and drainage works in some road sections from Sipocot to Del Gallego towns, is now seventy per cent completed with only 16 kilometers of roads left for rehabilitation works. A total of P510 million has been released by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the DPWH for the rehabilitation of the Andaya Highway.

Congressman Arroyo is keen on fast tracking the completion of the Andaya Highway rehabilitation works. This he said, is part of his election campaign battlecry "Trabaho, Kalye at Oportunidad" (TKO), that of providing job opportunities to his constituents in the first district of Camarines Sur, once elected to Congress.

Arroyo said that he wants to ensure the safety of the motorists, most of whom are devotees of Our Lady of Penafrancia and who will be in Camarines Sur for the week-long Penafrancia Festival.

Congressman Arroyo bared that he will talk to barangay officials and will tap the barangay tanod to help in maintaining the traffic in those areas where one-way-lane route is being implemented as the road mishap is being partly blamed on the absence of enough flagmen manning the incoming and outgoing vehicles.

He said that a uniform for the flagmen will be provided for the motorists to easily identify who are enforcing the flow of the traffic. "Early warning devices and traffic signs will also be made visible and will be placed at a conspicuous distance where motorists could see them."

During the ocular inspection Arroyo and Ebdane were greeted with the unsightly presence of potholes and cracks along the Andaya Highway to which Director Roces said the worsening condition of the dilapidated road was caused by the increasing volume of big vehicles, including 10-wheeler trucks whose loads are way beyond the capacity of the cemented road.

The neophyte congressman also supports the proposal of Secretary Ebdane that a weighing bridge be constructed in Calauag, Quezon to avoid overweight vehicles from entering the Andaya Highway. (PIA Cams. Sur) [top]

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