THE government has appropriated P6.5 billion for the rehabilitation and upgrading of roads in 73 provinces that met good governance standards and social development benchmarks, according to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.
Dubbed KALSADA (Konkreto at Ayos na Lansangan at Daan Tungo sa Pangkalahatang Kaunlaran), Abad said the program is “an innovative devolution program that aims to institutionalize good governance by enabling and shepherding local government units on Local Road Management.”
Provinces were selected based on their compliance with the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Seal of Good Financial Housekeeping and submission to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) of their Local Public Financial Management Assessment Report.
Abad said the P6.5-billion fund has a breakdown per province according to a formula that considers performance and need scores such as previous provincial utilization of SLRF and provincial road network length of the provinces that have complied with the requirements for consideration.
Through the Open Roads Portal (t “_blank” www.openroads.gov.ph), the public can check online which roads have been selected for rehabilitation or upgrading and track the progress of the road project from start to completion.
Meanwhile, DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson agreed that KALSADA is exemplary considering that capital funding required to offset road asset depreciation has never been given to provinces.
“Provincial roads are the largest and most important asset being managed by provincial local governments. These road networks link national roads to areas of economic development, allow access to basic services, and serve as important conduits during conflict, crises, and calamities,” Singson said.
He added that the cumulative cost of lost asset life is P11.1 billion per year when computed across all 81 provinces.
Singson also said provincial, arterial roads, and farm-to-market roads (FMRs) will get the bulk of infrastructure investment in 2017 after completion of all construction and upgrading of national roads and bridges this year. Likewise, local bridges and roads will be upgraded to ensure the safe use of local infrastructure.
He added that KALSADA is a strategic investment in local roads and bridges infrastructure—often referred to as the ‘missing middle’ – that will have a large impact on making provinces, cities, and municipalities more business-friendly, competitive, and open up opportunities for job creation and livelihood. These will also greatly address access issues to basic services and in times of natural or man-made calamities and crises.