Politics

DPWH seeks extension of loan validity for P1.2-B Samar road to allow Dec. 2022 completion

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DPWH

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said it is seeking the extension of the validity period of the loan financing the construction of the P1.241-billion Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project, in order to accommodate project completion by the end of the year.

The completion deadline will be “revised from June 30, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2022,” the DPWH said in a document.

The department has submitted to the NEDA Investment Coordination Committee the project evaluation forms to support a request for the extension of the loan validity to December 2023, or a year after the projected completion.

An initial 8-kilometer (km) stretch of the 11.6-km coastal road in Northern Samar province and its Simora Bridge component, part of the previous government’s Build, Build, Build infrastructure program, were inaugurated in June.

The project, with funding assistance from South Korea through the Export-Import Bank of Korea, forms part of the Samar Island circumferential road.

The project links the Pacific-side municipalities of Palapag, Laoang and Catubig, whose residents are mainly engaged in coconut and rice farming.

“The partial opening of the Samar Pacific Coastal Road is a huge step to … provide comfortable and improved interconnectivity that will support sustainable agricultural development, and contribute to food self-sufficiency program and in sustaining peace and development efforts in Northern Samar,” DPWH Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain said in a recent statement.

Overall actual accomplishment is now at 72.45%, according to the department. — Arjay L. Balinbin