The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to complete the Php2 billion Mahaplag-Hilongos Road project by 2022.

The road is set to be passable before the end of President Rodrigo’s term. There is a multi-year funding program to ensure this expected completion, DPWH Eastern Visayas construction division chief Sandy Pua said.

“There are many challenges such as processing of tree cutting permits and road right of way acquisition, but we are doing our best to keep the road works moving,” Pua assured.

For this year, the project has an allocation of Php300 million. About Php400 million have been spent on the project in the first two years of its implementation from 2017 to 2018.
For 2020, the budget request has been set at Php344 million. The DPWH has programmed some Php272 million for 2022.

The ongoing road project will give vehicle paths for upland communities of Mahaplag, Hindang, and Hilongos towns.

The construction began in 2017 under the national government’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

The first phase of the road project in Mahaplag town is about 70 percent complete as of August.

Once fully completed, the 48.22-kilometer road, stretching from San Isidro village in Mahaplag town to San Roque in Hilongos town, will serve as an alternate route from Tacloban City to Hilongos town and Maasin City in Southern Leyte.

According to the DPWH, the road is expected to reduce travel time from three hours and 22 minutes to just two hours and 50 minutes. (with reports from PNA)

Photo courtesy of Emmanuel Saligue/PNA

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