By Ben Rosario
The P1.6-billion Ilagan-Divilacan Road in Isabela is a classic example of an infrastructure project that is “overpriced, half-finished, anti-environment, and full of irregularities.”
Isabela Rep. Napoleon Dy made this description of the major infrastructure project of the Isabela provincial government as he slammed officials for failing to finish it over the last two years.
Dy said the road remains 50-percent completed although its construction started as long ago as March 2016.
Once completed, the 82-kilometer road will connect Ilagan City to the towns of Divilacan and Maconacon. It starts in Barangay Cabisera 10 and Barangay Sindon Bayabo in Ilagan City and ends in Barangay Dicatian in the coastal town of Divilacan.
“The project is only half-finished after the provincial government already spent 1.6 billion pesos. If you do the math, that means that the administration of Gov. Faustino “Bojie” Dy III spent around 39 million pesos for each kilometer,” said the legislator.
“The project is obviously overpriced. Even the initial costing of the project, which allocated 20 million pesos per kilometer for road opening – not including concreting – is higher than the standards set by the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways),” he added.
The legislator also questioned why the project was bid out to a third party contractor, Quezon City-based CM Pancho Construction, when P1 billion out of the provincial government’s P2.6-billion loan for the construction of the road was earmarked for the purchase of construction equipment for the province.
“Where is the billion peso worth of heavy equipment that were purchased with the funds? How much more does the provincial government need to complete this project, which is only half-done?” asked Rep. Dy.
He also demanded to know what the provincial government had done with the trees that were cut down to make way for the road network, which will pass through and along the Isabela National Park and Protected Area in the Sierra Madre mountain range.
“This is another concern with regard to this road, which could have an adverse effect on the environment in the area,” added Dy.
He challenged bot Gov. Bojie Dy and Vice Gov. Tonypet Albano to “come clean regarding this project, for the sake of transparency.”
“This is not about politics, this is about accountability and good governance. The billions loaned by the provincial government will be paid for by Isabela taxpayers, and they deserve to know what happened in this project.” Dy clarified.