RATING: Partly false
IN the Manila Bulletin opinion article (https://mb.com.ph/…/10-build-build-build-projects…/…) by Anna Mae Lamentillo, chairperson of the Build Build Build Committee of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), she cited ten huge projects accomplished by DPWH under then Sec. Mark Villar, who is now running as a senator.
In her column entitled, “10 ‘Build, Build, Build’ projects in Ilocos Region,” Lamentillo cited ten big-ticket projects under Duterte’s flagship project in the Ilocos region.
These are the:
1.Candon City Bypass Road
2.Laoag City Bypass Road
3.Urdaneta City Bypass Road
4.Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway (Tplex)
5.Bantay-San Ildefonso Bypass Road
6.Laoag-Ilocos Norte Connector
9.Lingayen Bypass Road
10.Apayao-Ilocos Norte Road.
Of these, only 5, 7, and 9 were started during the Duterte administration. The rest were all initiated or were already being constructed before June 2016.
1) Candon City Bypass Road — DPWH and PNA sources indicate that the road was started prior to Duterte assuming office in June 2016.
DPWH’s official website says the road, implemented in five phases,was already in the works as early as March 1, 2016 (https://www.dpwh.gov.ph/dpwh/news/12187, dated July 2017) according to DPWH Ilocos Sur Regional Director Ronnel M. Tan. A separate DPWH news release (https://www.dpwh.gov.ph/dpwh/news/1337) in April 2016 says that the Candon City Bypass Road, initially only 2.86 km in length, was already near completion.
Meanwhile, a PNA article (https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1076121) says that the road project was started on April 15, 2015. The PCOO also says in a news release (https://pcoo.gov.ph/news_releases/president-duterte-inaugurates-7-km-candon-city-bypass-road/) that the road started in 2015, consistent with the PNA article.
2) Laoag City Bypass Road — While the road is credited under the BBB program, the DPWH’s official website has three separate articles on the road’s start and completion, with an article (https://www.dpwh.gov.ph/dpwh/news/1340) on February 2016 showing DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson inspecting the project, and another article (https://www.dpwh.gov.ph/dpwh/news/1338) dated April of 2016 that says then-DPWH Regional Director Melanio C. Briosos reported completion of the 7.93 km road on January 31, 2021.
3) Urdaneta City Bypass Road – Multiple articles from the DPWH’s official site indicate that the road project began before the current administration. According to this article (https://www.dpwh.gov.ph/dpwh/news/12186), DPWH Regional Director Ronnel Tan says that the acquisition of road right-of-way for the project was accomplished by DPWH Regional Office 1 as early as 2012. An April 2016 article from the same site (https://www.dpwh.gov.ph/dpwh/news/1337) indicates that the road started on April 1, 2014, and had by April in 2016 completed some 81 percent of its road opening and right-of-way settlements.
4) TPLEX — While the TPLEX has indeed been completed during the current administration’s time, DPWH’s PPP disclosure on its official site (https://www.dpwh.gov.ph/dpwh/PPP/projs/TPLEX) indicates that the plan was already in the works long before, with the initial project timeline setting an opening of the road’s first section from Tarlac City to Rosales in Pangasinan at October 2013. Independent news articles from the Inquirer (https://business.inquirer.net/149603/first-phase-of-tplex-set-to-open-on-oct-30) indicate that the first section of the TPLEX was completed as early as 2013, with the second section from Rosales to Urdaneta, Pangasinan completed by end of 2014.(https://business.inquirer.net/183720/smc-completes-2nd-section-of-tplex)
5) Bantay-San Ildefonso Road – According to the DPWH report (https://www.dpwh.gov.ph/dpwh/sites/default/files/webform/civil_works/contract_of_agreement/COA%2021A00080.pdf),the road was indeed started during the Duterte administration. An agreement was signed on March 12, 2021 between DPWH and Satrap Construction, one of the companies owned by former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis Singson. The winning bid was more than P50.5 M.
6) Laoag-Ilocos Norte Connector. It is a 3.6-km road,traversing Darayday in Laoag City and San Nicolas in Ilocos Norte. NEDA, during a meeting chaired by President Benigno S. Aquino III, approved the said road with a total cost of P1.19 Billion. It was contained in the 2011-2016 Updated Regional Development Plan. (https://ilocos.neda.gov.ph/migration-and-development-subsector-anew-in-rdc-1)
7) Daang Kalikasan. The 19.89-kilometer Daang Kalikasan Road will reduce the travel time from Mangatarem in Pangasinan to Sta. Cruz in Zambales from two hours and 30 minutes to only one hour. A portion is nearing completion although the construction of the full length of the four-lane 19.68-kilometer road started in 2017 will not be completed till 2023. https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1093430
8) Daang Katutubo – The 14.6-kilometer road linking Mangatarem, Pangasinan and Sta. Cruz, Zambales is expected to be completed by ,according to DPWH. It was initiated in 2012 and is part of the five-year road project of the national government.
9) Lingayen Bypass Road – The 6.2-kilometer Lingayen Bypass Road starts at the intersection of Pangasinan-Zambales Road and Lingayen Labrador Diversion Road and traverses along Lingayen proper to Barangay Poblacion in Binmaley. The P1 B project was started in 2019 and is expected to be finished this year. https://propertyreport.ph/news-and-events/2021/07/09/21254/high-five-dpwh-completes-6071-infra-projects-in-ilocos-region-in-just-five-years/
10) Apayao-Ilocos Norte Road – The road connecting the towns of Conner, Kabugao, and Calanasan in Apayao to the municipality of Solsona and the city of Laoag in Ilocos Norte serves as an alternate route to motorists coming from the Cordillera Administrative Region going to Laoag International Airport and the Manila North Road in Ilocos Region. It had a budget of P3.67 B and was started in 2013 and completed in 2020.
By Angel Castillo and Reniel Gundran.