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After 5 Years, Andaya Highway Still Under Repair

Andaya Highway in constant repair for years.
Andaya Highway in constant repair for years.

Canaman, Camarines Sur  (3 December 2010)—Major repairs are still being done on the 61-kilometer Andaya Highway five years after Bikol governors appealed to former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to start immediate rehabilitation of the major highway route due to its deplorable state.

Considered a major entry-point to the region when coming from the Quezon province, the Andaya Highway 

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Camarines Sur 5th Engineering head of office, engineer Willard Atutubo, has revealed that repairs on the Andaya Highway which are under contract with the DPWH regional office, are in the last phase of reblocking and asphalt-overlay works currently being done in the Sipocot town section of the highway.

DPWH regional office sources bared that funds last released for the said road project were P 48-Millio, part of some P 250-Million earmarked by the Arroyo government for the total rehabilitation of the highway.

Atutubo said that since the major rehabilitation works in the highway were started five years ago, none of the completed section has yet been handed-over for road maintenance by the DPWH engineering district office.

Reportedly, a joint venture of contractors, the NFH and PERSAN construction firms, are still under contact to maintain finished sections of the highway until the entire contract of the rehabilitation is completed.

Recent inspections by the DPWH engineers showed that earlier completed sections along the Camarines Sur boundary of the Andaya Highway in Del Gallego to Tagkawayan, Quezon are now beginning to deteriorate.

An engineer in the regional office had remarked “that  the government had spent millions in funds for the rehab, but often times during reblocking and the asphalt-overlay works no DPWH engineers were present to check on the quality of the of the works.”

In late 2005, the national government initially ordered the release of some half a billion pesos, most of which was to start the Andaya Highway repairs; in 2008 another P350-Million were released to intensify the rehabilitation efforts.

In the last five years, more than a billion in fund releases were made by the former Arroyo government for the said highway repairs.

Former DPWH Bicol director Orlando Roces reported earlier that Andaya Highway repairs had been delayed by rains and strong typhoons that hit Bicol in 2006 and 2007.

Meanwhile, according to Atutubo the Andaya Highway is now under the territorial jurisdiction of the DPWH Cam. Sur 5th engineering district, a newly created district office resulting from the gerrymandering the province which created five political districts in 2008. (SONNY SALES)