RPMC discussing the alignment of the Taal Lake Circumferential Road in the proposed project section in Alitagtag, Batangas.

The Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) of CALABARZON inspected three major transport projects with road right-of-way (RROW) acquisition issues. Joining the RPMC on July 26 and 29 were the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environment Management Bureau (DENR-EMB).

The RPMC inspected the Lipa City-Padre Garcia Diversion Road. This 7.74 km road opening is under indefinite suspension due to the delayed completion of the parcellary survey which led to delay in RROW acquisition. The RPMC noted that the 2017 RROW acquisition has not yet been paid and tasked the Department of Budget and Management Region to look into it while DPWH was tasked to fast track the completion of the parcellary survey.

The second project, the STAR Tollway-Pinamucan Bypass Road, is a 10.3 km road opening also under indefinite suspension. The project redesign and relocation of obstructive MERALCO poles along the RROW delayed the project implementation. The DPWH has already resolved the project redesign issues and will request MERALCO to fast track the relocation of the obstructive poles.

Obstructive MERALCO pole along the RROW of the STAR Tollway-Pinamucan Bypass Road

The third project, the Taal Lake Circumferential Road, is a 122 km road around Taal Lake under the DOT-DPWH Convergence Program. DENR-EMB issued a cease and desist order on the project due to lack of a Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) Clearance and Environment Compliance Certificate. The RPMC recommended for the DPWH to prepare the road alignment for the whole circumferential road and have the approval of concerned LGUs, secure PAMB clearance, and submit the project’s environment impact assessment study to DENR-EMB to start processing of ECC for the project.

Ray Michael Kevin H. Abuso, NEDA Region IV-A | August 13, 2019