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DPWH CAMSUR washes hands on sorry state of Andaya Highway

Private contractors and DPWH regional office are in charge

CANAMAN, Camarines Sur (Aug 17, 2011) — Twenty percent of the 61-kilometer stretch of the Andaya Highway, an important part of the National Highway (Maharlika Highway) stretching from Quezon province to Camarines Sur, are damaged according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 5th Engineering District Office of this province.

But its upkeep is not the responsibility of the local highway district office that has jurisdiction over it.

Engineer Willard Atutubo, head of the 5th District Engineering Office head said that although the Andaya Highway belongs to the jurisdiction of his district, repairs and maintenance of the Andaya Highway is the responsibility of two construction companies, identified as NFH and GCI.

The two construction companies have been under contract with the DPWH Bicol regional office since the start of the term of former DPWH regional director Orlando Roces back in 2005.

This repair and maintenance arrangement is a legacy of the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who allegedly was forced to bring in the private contractors after receiving flak from Bicol governors because of the then deplorable state of the Andaya Highway.

Atutubo said they have already submitted to engineer Antonio Saguinsin, head of the DPWH regional maintenance division, reports on the damaged portions of the Andaya Highway located mostly in the towns of Ragay and Del Gallego.

Although 80 percent of the Highway remain in good condition, huge sections are continuously deteriorating because of the heavy traffic at the the main road between Bicol and Metro Manila.

Presently, the DPWH 5th engineering district is implementing concreting and asphalt overlay works to rehabilitate 1.580 kilometers of the Maharlika Highway between Sipocot and Cabusao and 3.680 kilometers from Sipocot to Lupi - funded by P77.591.000 Million pesos from the DPWH regular infrastructure projects budget for calendar year 2011. (SONNY SALES)