Image courtesy of Jan Charlee Ligad

City legislators have called on the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Puerto Princesa to prioritize the concreting of a 1.6-kilometer road from Barangay Bacungan to the City Beach.

Councilor Nesario Awat, chairman of the committee on legal matters and author of resolution SDR No. 959-2020, said Monday during the question hour that upon visiting the City Beach he noticed “several problems” in the concreting of the road from Bacungan to Tagkawayan Beach, which has become a popular beach destination in Puerto Princesa.

“When this representation together with some of the city council went to City Beach Tagkawayan, Barangay Bacungan. We noticed several problems in the concreting of the road from Barangay Bacungan to City Beach,” he said.

He said the completion of the road must be prioritized in the 2021 budget and responsible agencies must immediately act on the problems to boost tourism in the area.

“We know for a fact that we have a budget for 2020, but because of COVID, this activity was postponed. We do not know for 2021 whether we have any activity for that matter in City Beach next year that was included in the first caravan to boost the tourism industry. We believe that we have to be active as far as what we need to do regarding the problems that we are confronting that area,” Awat said.

Engr. Arthur Torillo, representative of the DPWH, said they have requested the budget for the concreting of the road, but only P21.8 million was allocated for approximately 750 meters.

“Mayroon po kaming proposed na P21.8 million na budget for 2021. Ang approximate length lang na aabutin is 750 meters or .75 kilometers. Hindi po matatapos yong 1.6 kilometers na gap kasi wala pa tayong net na dumarating, ‘yong national expenditure program,” he said.

“Kasi ‘yong ni-request namin para do’n sa total length ng gap na 750 meters plus 1.6, ang na-released lang po ay ‘yong para sa 750 meters,” he added.

Awat, on the other hand, clarified and asked if the “lack of budget” was the reason why there is a gap in the concreting of the road.

“So lumalabas parang kulang pati tayo ng budget para ma-complete natin ‘yong concreting from Barangay Bacungan to City Beach?” he asked.

Torillo said yes and admitted this, explaining that not all the allocated budget for 2021 was released.

“Opo, nagkakaroon pa ng gap kasi ito pa lang ‘yong na-release for 2021.” he said.

Awat noted that there is a possibility that by next year, the concreting will not yet push through because of “lack of budget”.

“In short, magkakaroon tayo ng problema na 1.6 kilometers para ma-complete natin yan for the year 2021 because of lack of budget,” he said.

“Hindi pa rin pala natin ito mapapakinabangan kasi sa mga discussions in the past ay parang 2020 tapos na yan, but now hearing from you mukhang 2021 hindi pa rin sya matatapos” he added. (with a report from Romar Miranda)