Politics kills more than P1B of Quezon road projects
By Delfin T. Mallari Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
2018-02-12 05:20:30

LUCENA CITY — Politics has paralyzed infrastructure program in the second district of Quezon province after it was deprived of funding due to budget restrictions suffered by opposition legislators, including Rep. Vicente Alcala of the Liberal Party (LP).

“The lack of funds will slow down the economic growth of Quezon since the second district is strategically located at the gateway of the province from Manila,” said Nestor Cleofas, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) district engineer.

The leadership of the House of Representatives slashed or completely removed the proposed budgets of several lawmakers from the 2018 budget.

Alcala was in the group of legislators who got zero funding for taking adverse positions against the Duterte administration.

‘Beyond our control’

“Since it is a political decision, it is beyond our control. We’re just completely surprised when the news came out,” said Cleofas.

The loss of funds affected these projects—the proposed P916-million 18.6-kilometer extension of Quezon Eco-Tourism Road, the P552-million Quezon Eco-Tourism-Cotta-Dalahican-Talao-Talao Circumferential Road in Lucena City, the widening of Candelaria Bypass Road, Dalahican Port Road in Lucena City, Lutucan-Guisguis Road in Sariaya town and many others.

Maintenance work

The maintenance and construction of tertiary roads and the ongoing widening of the 38-km Maharlika Highway from Tiaong to Pagbilao were also hit, Cleofas said.

“This March, road widening work in some sections of the Maharlika Highway will stop,” said Cleofas.

Cleofas, citing DPWH data, said projects in the second district had been going smoothly until the budget cuts.

“We’re going on high speed in terms of infrastructure development then came this news,” he said.

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