In five months’ time, residents of at least 13 highland barangays that pass through one of the oldest crisscrossing roads of the province of Cebu and trucks carrying tons of vegetables to be transported to the city would soon find ease accessing this road, as concreting and widening of the 3-km section near Mantalongon proper officially started yesterday, November 9, 2011, through a Ground Breaking Ceremony held at Mag-alambak, Mantalongon with project proponent, Cebu 2nd District Representative Pablo P. Garcia as the honored guest.
Deputy speaker Pabling Garcia never thought twice in pouring such huge amount in just a single project, when asked by Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) secretary, Hon. Rogelio L. Singson, to where he would allocate the P45 million amount of project. Only few congressmen received project fundings from DPWH, as they already have their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the so-called “pork barrel” fund amounting to P70 million each per year. As being one of the second-highest ranking officials of the Philippine House of Representatives, Congressman Garcia’s project proposal to DPWH was given more weight.
The amount of project allocation that Congressman Pabling requested to DPWH was supposedly P100 million but due to some reasons, was cut down to P45 million. Of the 15 municipalities throughout the second congressional district of Cebu, he allocated this amount solely to the Dalaguete side of the Mantalongon-Badian road, as he had made a promise to Dalaguete constituents, especially those who are accessing the road, that he would finish the concreting of 12-km Poblacion-Mantalongon road of which at the moment, a total of around 8 kilometers had already been concreted. When this 3-km road project is completed, it will only leave 1 kilometer section of the whole stretch of the road unpaved.
Engr. Fernando S. Cruz, district engineer of the Dalaguete-based Cebu 4th District Engineering Office (DEO), gave the project profile in a speech in front of municipal officials and employees, barangay officials, DPWH 4th DEO staff and employees, students of Mantalongon National High School, and some residents of Mantalongon. Initially, the project is to be finished in 280 calendar days but QM Builders Construction, the project contractor, promised to finish the project in just 150 days or 5 months, just in time for Mantalongon’s annual fiesta celebration in May. We could expect by that time an ease of travel and an increase of the number of visitors going up in Mantalongon if the project is completed.
He announced that besides this particular project, another P5 million worth of road repair is on-going at Katambisan, Mantalongon and another P10 million amount of undisclosed project also in Mantalongon is about to be bid. These funds are all coming from the ever generous hands of Congressman Garcia.
Congressman Pabling and Dalaguete Mayor Ronald Allan G. Cesante both stated in their respective speeches that having this huge amount of funding in a single project is not easy to be realized considering that the congressman has 15 towns under his jurisdiction.
The deputy speaker, in his speech, said that aside from the above-mentioned projects, he had already requested from the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA) for an appropriation of P20 million for the improvement of the production of vegetables in Dalaguete and believed that DA had already started conducting studies regarding his request; again, another promise to be fulfilled during their tenure of office.