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PIA Press Release

Kalinga gov leads inspection of SONA project

by Peter Balocnit

Tabuk, Kalinga (20 June) -- Members of the inter-agency Infrastructure Monitoring and Advisory Group III (IMAG-III) formed to monitor the on-going implementation of the P3.2-billion Bontoc-Lubuagan-Tabuk road improvement project inspected last week the Gonogon road section.

The team led by Governor Floydelia Diasen particularly visited the Tabuk side of this SONA project after the IMAG meeting to immediately address pressing problems that are hampering its immediate completion.

Assistant Regional Director of DPWH-CAR Engr. Alexander Castaneda reported a 38% accomplishment as of May with 11 kilometers costing P229 million completely paved. "Though the target completion date is April of 2010, we are given marching orders from President Arroyo to finish it December this year, he said.

On the problem on road-right of ways (RRW), which delayed road widening and eating a substantial amount from the project cost, the group agreed to closely coordinate individual or group claims on RRWs with the mayors of Tinglayan, Lubuagan, Pasil and Tabuk.

The IMAG also accepted the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) social accommodation of claims by offering civil works to claimants and pay damaged properties and improvements based on government and the prevailing price.

On the reported security threat against contractors, IMAG will seek the intervention of the police and the military against armed RRW claimants to avoid work stoppage. Contractors were also asked to pay their obligations due the LGUs.

DPWH Engineers and contractors were also asked to include soil stability measures in future road improvement plans to mitigate erosion after project completion.

The DPWH Kalinga District Engineering Office (KDEO) accepted the task of clearing paved sections covered by landslides to open traffic for road users. Sona Project coordinator for Kalinga Engr. Teodoro Owek assured IMAG of a 24-hour traffic advisory and maintenance of a field office along the stretch.

Diasen, who chairs IMAG-III (Kalinga side) also directed the mayors of the four municipalities traversed by the SONA road project to organize their own Municipal IMAG to help in the monitoring activities especially completed sections of the project.

The Bontoc-Tabuk road improvement project is part of the infrastructure component of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's North Luzon Agri-business Quadrangle super region. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]

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