The Department of Public Works and Highways in Caraga Region (DPWH-13) said the ongoing construction of the San Roque, Bislig, Surigao del Sur–Bunawan, Agusan del Sur Road is already 64 percent complete, as the construction works continue despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

DPWH-13 Director Pol delos Santos said the construction works, which began last year, were on track and that the Surigao Del Sur 2nd District Engineering Office (SDS 2nd DEO) managed to complete the concreting of around 1.4 kilometers.

The project, which has initial funding of P50 million, will receive an additional allocation of P50 million for the completion of another 1.6-kilometers.

“The project will provide an alternate route from Bislig City, Surigao del Sur to the town of Bunawan in Agusan del Sur.”

Delos Santos said the project has a total length of 35.5 kilometers and will provide an alternate route from Bislig City, Surigao del Sur to the town of Bunawan in Agusan del Sur.

“Of the total length of the project, 18.17 kilometers will be implemented by the SDS 2nd DEO while the remaining 17.330 will be undertaken by the Agusan del Sur 2nd District Engineering Office,” the official said in a statement.

The statement also quoted DPWH Secretary Mark Villar as saying that the road project is considered a priority of the national government.

“DPWH is tasked to usher regional development through the Build Build Build program of President Rodrigo Duterte,” Villar said, adding the Surigao del Sur–Agusan del Sur road network is crucial in the socio-economic development of the Caraga Region.

“It will open another economic opportunity between the two provinces in the aspect of tourism and agriculture.”

“Once completed, travel time is expected to reduce from more than three hours to only one hour and 30 minutes and it will open another economic opportunity between the two provinces in the aspect of tourism and agriculture, in addition to the wood industry which the provinces rely on inclusive growth,” the public works chief said.

The project, the public works head added, is proposed as a bypass road and needs funding of more than P1.6 billion under the Multi-Year Program of the DPWH.

“This is programmed to be implemented within the years 2019 to 2023 and onwards,” he said.

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