SENATE Committee on Public Works Chairman Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr., on Tuesday, November 2, 2022, asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to expedite its efforts in the repair and reconstruction of bridges and other public infrastructure damaged by typhoon “Paeng.”
Revilla specifically cited the Bantilan Bridge linking Sariaya, Quezon, and San Juan, Batangas; the Paliwan Bridge connecting the Antique towns of Laua-an and Bugasong; and the Nituan Bridge in Parang, Maguindanao. He said this in addition to the collapsed Romulo Bridge in Bayambang, Pangasinan.
In a letter to DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan, the lawmaker stressed that these infrastructures need to be rectified and made accessible immediately as they are vital to the flow of people and goods in those areas.
“No time should be spared in rebuilding. Bawat araw na lumilipas na hindi ayos ang mga tulay na ito ay napeperwisyo ang buhay at kabuhayan ng napakarami nating mga kababayan,” he said.
The senior lawmaker cited Japan in the speed by which the country rebuilds and repairs damaged infrastructure, saying he could only aspire for the DPWH to act in the same manner.
Revilla also asked Bonoan to immediately submit a report to the Committee on the total damage sustained by public infrastructures, including dikes, revetments, and other flood control structures, detailing the required funds for their immediate reconstruction with a timetable as to when the repairs will be completed.
The solon assured the DPWH that he will personally seek the Senate Committee on Finance’s help in assuring that the necessary funds will be included in the DPWH’s 2023 national budget.
“While the DPWH has Quick Response Funds (QRF) for times of calamities, these funds are not intended for reconstruction, which is what is actually needed in this instance,” the lawmaker explained. “Kaya kailangan malagyan ng pondo ang DPWH specifically for this purpose,” he ended.