Temporary relocation facilities for the negatively affected families of the Bacoor Diversion Road project. Photo by DPWH Region IV-A

The CALABARZON Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) chaired by NEDA IV-A RD Luis Banua conducted the problem-solving session for the Macalelon Small Reservoir Irrigation, Bacoor Diversion Road and Pulo-Diezmo Road projects on September 3. The meeting which was conducted through a video conference was attended by DBM IV-A, DILG IV-A, OP-PMS, DPWH, NIA, Cabuyao City, Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla of Bacoor City, and RDC private sector representatives – Engr. Ladislao Andal, Mr. Ruel Punzalan and Ms. Illuminada Gomez.

The Problem-Solving Session was called to gather updates on the compliance of DPWH Region IV-A and Cabuyao City with regards to the agreements during the previous problem-solving session on Pulo-Diezmo Road project held on June 2019, and recommend actions on the issues and concerns on implementation of the Bacoor Diversion Road and Macalelon Small Reservoir Irrigation projects.

Standing issues and recommendations to expedite the implementation of the Pulo-Diezmo Road project were discussed during the problem-solving session. Negotiation on road-right-of-way acquisition for three private properties is still ongoing and the memorandum of agreement with Manila Toll Expressway Systems, Inc. on the bridge component is yet to be approved. The RPMC requested DPWH Region IV-A to discuss and coordinate with city government of Cabuyao on the specific issues on properties for road-right-of-way acquisition and writ of possession. Meanwhile, the Committee will request assistance from the Toll Regulatory Board to facilitate the approval of the DPWH MOA with Manila Toll Expressway Systems, Inc.

For the Bacoor Diversion Road project, DPWH Region IV-A identified a total of 150 families with 11 families for immediate relocation to temporary shelter and for COVID-19 PCR testing prior to permanent transfer to Naic, Cavite. DPWH and the city government of Bacoor agreed to work together to speed-up the road-right-of-way acquisition and explore possible funding options for the COVID-19 PCR testing of the pre-qualified relocatees. Furthermore, the RPMC will coordinate with DOLE, DSWD, and other concerned agencies on the provision of social assistance and livelihood programs to relocatees.

Meanwhile, NIA Region IV-A had already resolved the road-right-of-way acquisition issues of the Macalelon Small Reservoir Irrigation Project through close coordination with DPWH and negotiation with the affected landowners. To improve the access to the dam site, NIA was requested to construct a one-lane access road for barangays that are affected by the construction of the Macalelon Small Reservoir Irrigation project. Possible funding options from other government agencies on the construction of access roads for the affected barangays will also be explored.

The RPMC will monitor the compliance to the agreements to ensure speedy implementation of the above-cited projects.

Herbert C. Molinyawe, NEDA Region IV-A| September 4, 2020