With at least P1.4 billion allocation from the city government’s 2020 budget, the Bayron administration this year has lined up major local infrastructure and development projects.
Amounting to at least 37 percent of the annual investment plan, these projects take up the largest chunk of the P3.78 billion city funds and the administration has resumed its implementation, following their suspension due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Palawan News has ranked the top 10 City government projects according to the interest they generated by the general public.
10. Toys for Big Boys
The city government presented in early December its newly-acquired light and heavy equipment intended for the construction of local infrastructure projects.
City mayor Lucilo Bayron, who led the blessing ceremony of the heavy equipment and vehicles after Monday’s flag-raising ceremony, said that the initiative was to strengthen the infrastructure and development wing of Puerto Princesa, citing its importance in providing “better services” for the constituents.
Engr. Raymund Tabang, city engineering motor pool division engineering II, in an earlier statement said they compose the fourth batch of machinery that was purchased by the city government for executing construction tasks.
The new equipment acquired just during the fourth-quarter included three transit mixers, one bulldozer, two graders, two backhoes, six 10 wheeler, four six-wheeler trucks, two units of coasters, two fuel tankers, one transit mixer, one tractor truck, one boom truck, one asphalt paver, one concrete paver.
As the city government slowly revives its economy after being stalled by the pandemic, an opportunity for Puerto Princesa to supply other municipalities with meat is being sought by local officials.
Bayron, during the groundbreaking earlier this year, said this planned construction and operation of the slaughterhouse is in preparation for the anticipated increase of meat products supply by the city.
8. Irawan Public Market
Part of the three-storey modern Agricultural Trading Center (ATC) within the 13-hectare complex of Puerto Princesa Integrated Agricultural Center (PPIAC) in Barangay Irawan, a new public market is set to rise in the city’s southern district to decongest the Old and New Public Markets.
Enera Tuibeo, assistant head of the City Agriculture Office (CAO), in an earlier statement, said that the trading center, which has more than 2,000 square meters of floor area, is part of the complex envisioned by the city government as a one-stop-site that will house the public market, transport terminal, training center, slaughterhouse, restaurant, and other facilities.
7. Mendoza Park Make-over
The People’s Amphitheater, known to locals as Mendoza Park, gains a new look during the pandemic.
The P9.9-million makeover project of the gazebo and the “heritage and public art space” by the local government was supposed to be completed in April but was held back by the lockdowns caused by COVID-19.
Mendoza Park, located along Rizal Avenue within the city proper, was named after Dr. Higinio Mendoza, a war hero of Palawan who led the resistance against imperial Japan. Mendoza was executed at Canigaran on January 24, 1944. His remains and those of several unknown soldiers were entered into the memorial found on one side of the park.
6. Roads Works
With now at more than 50 percent of its 160-kilometer road construction projects in the rural and urban barangays, the local government is committed in the southern and northern clusters to implement its farm-to-market road (FMR) subprojects.
Stalled during the travel restrictions and delay on cargo supplies, at least eight rural and ten urban barangays this year have inaugurated city roads from the P840-million development fund.
5. Satellite City Halls
With two operational out of three satellite administrative buildings in Barangays Napsan, San Rafael, and Luzviminda, the city government this year has “provide services to residents living in far-flung barangays”.
In his speech during the first flag-raising during the inaugural ceremony in Napsan, Bayron said that having satellite city halls will make the city government services accessible and easy to residents as they do not need to travel to the center of the town.
In September 2019, the city government inaugurated the first satellite city hall in Brgy. Macarascas to serve residents in the villages of Salvacion, Bahile, Macarascas, Buenavista, Tagbenit, Cabayugan, Marufinas, and New Pangangan.
4. Drainage Works
Heavily criticized as “flawed” due to “lack of coordination” with the “master plan”, the young engineers of the CEO took the heat for the P120 million city drainage project.
Engr. Kenneth Alcala, an engineer from the CEO, talking to the City Council in January, admitted that the plan, which was done in portion and not as a part of a “master plan”, was only created based on the survey conducted by a different team.
This, after local legislators questioned the CEO’s proposal pointing out that the drainage system specifically targeting Barangay San Pedro, serving as an example, was disproportionate to the elevation and drainage outfall that even “misconceptualized” the sewage treatment facility (STP).
Reports in November 2018 following an intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) resulted in flooding in certain parts of barangays San Pedro, San Manuel, and San Jose, prompting the city government to first tackle the issue.
3. Balayong Park
After being sidetracked by the pandemic from mid-March to April, the construction in Balayong Park has resumed full swing as it bids to host sports-related activities as soon as the country welcomes leisure travels.
Ezrha Miguel, executive assistant at the City Engineering’s Office (CEO), in an interview with Palawan News in July, said that the padded facilities at the Ramon V. Mitra Sports Complex are eyed to host the Palarong Pambansa.
The construction thrust was claimed to save money by “investing in sports facilities” near Balayong Park, instead of renting out private facilities for the sports events.
Bayron, in a statement during the tourism recovery online session with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on May 22, said that the city government has rebooted the tourism-related infrastructure programs as it prepares to “recover in the next two to three years”.
Bayron had also enumerated the city’s current projects including the construction of the Balayong Park; planning of a 5,000-seater convention center; and other infrastructure projects that have already resumed since the onset of a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) on May 1.
2. Hotel Quarantines
Merely one week after President Rodrigo Duterte imposed the Luzon-wide lockdown mid-March, Bayron has ordered the preparation of quarantine facilities, anticipating “intensive measures” against the expected surge of COVID-19 cases from outside the island province.
Riding on a tight one-month leeway because of the total travel ban, local authorities creatively thought of converting many hotels in Puerto Princesa as quarantine facilities.
Drawn from the P472 million COVID-19 emergency response funds of the city, the Incident Management Team of Puerto Princesa City (IMT-PPC) has so far welcomed and hosted at least 6,000 returning locals and overseas Filipinos.
1. Smart Lighting
Now at around 91.99 percent completion, Phase 1 of the P700 million-worth smart street lighting technology project has installed around 1,873 lamp posts throughout the city.
Julio Sergio, personnel from the City Engineering Office (CEO), in an earlier statement said that each lamp post was pegged at P126,534.97. The “intelligent streetlights” were believed to be eco-friendly as it only utilizes 40 percent less energy consumption, with around 60 percent solar-power capability.
The street light project has been one of the pet projects by city mayor Lucilo Bayron since he assumed office in 2013.