NEDA approves 3 road/bridge projects in Aurora and Samar

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approved Thursday three road/bridge projects amounting to P4.3 billion—the Project for the Bridge Construction for Expanded Agrarian Reform Communities Development (Phase II-Umiray Bridge), the Baler–Casiguran Road Improvement Project, and the Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project (SPCRP). These projects aim to improve distribution of goods and mobility of people in the provinces of Aurora and Samar.
The P798.56-million Umiray Bridge Project, proposed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), involves the construction of a 358-lineal meter bridge that will cross Umiray River along the boundaries of Barangay Umiray in Dingalan, Aurora province and Barangay Umiray in General Nakar, Quezon province. About P711.21 million will be funded through the Government of Japan Grant Aid Program, and the remaining P87.35 million will be sourced from DAR’s regular budget.
“This project aims to improve the distribution of agricultural products as well as increase the incomes of people in four ARCs [agrarian reform communities], 11 barangays of Dingalan, Aurora and 19 barangays of General Nakar, Quezon,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano W. Paderanga Jr., who is also NEDA Board Vice Chairperson, said.
The second road project is the P1.66-billion Baler–Casiguran Road Improvement Project, which involves the completion of the remaining 50.95 kilometers of unpaved sections of the 116-kilometer road. The unpaved sections run through the municipalities of Baler, Dipaculao, Dinadiawan, Dinalungan, and Casiguran in the province of Aurora. The project is proposed to be financed through the overseas development assistance (ODA) loan from the Korea Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of P1.44 billion and counterpart funding from Philippine government of about P219.69 million.
“The project ensures the interregional connectivity between Region[s] 2 and 3. This will improve travel time and transportation of goods from five hours to one and a half hours,” Paderanga said.
The third road project, the SPCRP, involves improvement of the 27.75-kilometer unpaved arterial road sections of Samar Pacific Coastal Road and construction of three bridges: Simora, Jangtud, and Pinaculan. The P1.81-billion project will be financed through a P1.6-billion ODA loan from the Korea EDCF and counterpart funding from the Philippine government amounting to P207 million.
Paderanga said this aims to enhance the development of potential agricultural lands and fishing grounds, as well as facilitate distribution of goods and services in the area.
The NEDA Board is the governing body that sets major development policy directions for the Philippines, whereas the NEDA Secretariat serves as its research and technical support arm. President Benigno S. Aquino III is Chair of the Board, and Paderanga serves as Vice Chair. The NEDA Board members are: the Secretaries of Agriculture, Budget and Management, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Finance, Public Works and Highways, Science and Technology, Tourism, Trade and Industry, Transportation and Communications, and Presidential Management Staff; the Deputy Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; the Chairpersons of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Metro Manila Development Authority, and Mindanao Development Authority; the Governor of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao; and the President of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines.