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DPWH engages project stakeholders as pre-construction for Sulu Road Improvement begins

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Unified Project Management Office – Roads Management Cluster II (UPMO-RMC II) has begun hosting meetings with stakeholders prior to the conduct of pre-engineering activities for the actual construction/improvement of national roads in Sulu – a province in the Philippines known for its rich history and vibrant culture.

A Stakeholders Meeting was held on December 7, 2023 at the Sulu Provincial Capitol in Jolo, Sulu relative to the preparation of Feasibility Study (FS) and Detailed Engineering Design (DED) for the construction of Paticul – Jolo – Indanan Coastal Bypass Road (Sub-Project 7) and construction/rehabilitation/improvement of Sulu Circumferential Road (Sub-Project 8) under the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project (IGCMRSP).

Emil K. Sadain

DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain underscored the importance of open dialogue and effective collaboration with Sulu Governor Abdusakur M. Tan and Vice-Governor Abdusakur “Totoh” Tan II and the Municipal Mayors, the Provincial Department Heads, diverse stakeholders representing government bodies, and other groups to enable to address concerns, capitalize on opportunities, and collectively shape the project’s success.

According to Senior Undersecretary Sadain, the national government under the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is embarking on a mission to “build better more” of creating a “Bagong Pilipinas” with a comprehensive road network that would transcend geographical barriers and bring about positive change by serving as lifelines connecting communities, fostering economic growth, and enhancing overall accessibility.

Paticul Bypass Road

The Paticul – Jolo – Indanan Coastal Bypass Road (SP 7) with indicative cost of ₱1.64 Billion is a four (4)-lane 4.659 diversion road project from Gandasuli Road Mauboh, Patikul to Umbul Dua Road in Indanan.

Intended to divert traffic away from the central business district of the capital town Jolo and reduced travel time between the municipalities of Patikul and Indanan, SP 7 is made up of a 1,545-meter offshore viaduct and 3,114-meter approach roads with bike lane and streetlights.

On the otherhand, SP 8 with indicative cost of ₱8.22 Billion will involve the construction/rehabilitation/improvement of Sulu Circumferential Road covering 167 kilometers (with exceptions) that will enhance the economic development of Sulu Province.

The planned construction/improvement of four (4)-lane portland concrete cement pavement road in the town proper and two (2)-lane in the rest of the areas will play a key role in the transformative development journey that would connect communities to unlock economic potential.

Sulu Road Improvement

DPWH UPMO-RMC II Project Director Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim labelled the projects which will be the first Official Development Assistance (ODA)-supported infrastucture projects in Sulu as the beginning of a journey towards unconditional peace, grand development, and unhindered progress as these projects will not only physically connect people, but also mend the scars inflicted by the relentless war onto the hearts of the Moro Muslim People of the South.

DPWH under the leadership of Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan and Senior Undersecretary Sadain recognizes the need for improved infrastructure in Sulu Province having already begun and finished several development projects for remote areas in BARMM such as areas in Zamboanga Peninsula, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Cotabato, and Tawi-Tawi, but thus far, none yet has been attempted for the island Province of Sulu, Project Director Hasim said.

The two (2) road projects in Sulu Province under Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are consistent with Section 37 Public Works and Infrastructure of RA 11054, also known as the “Bangsamoro Organic Law” which states that the national government shall fund and implement the construction of national roads and bridges.

Sulu Road Improvement

Sulu Governor Tan expressed sincerest gratitude to Secretary Bonoan and Senior Undersecretary Sadain for pursuing diligently with ADB as well as World Bank which also have upcoming infrastructure projects as he encouraged the town Mayors along the project alignment who are all present in the meeting to support in whatever assistance to make the dream road project a reality for everybody and the generation after.

With resilience and determination, the people of Sulu have eagerly awaited the dawn of a new era of infrastructure development and we are all in unity to support paving the province way for progress and prosperity as there is no space for impossibility with effective collaboration, said Governor Tan.

The Stakeholders Meeting features discussion on the project’s overview specifically its objective, impact, and technical details by DPWH UPMO-RMC II Project Manager Lilibeth B. Rico and Oriental Consultants Global (OCG) Deputy Project Manager Zaldy Lastrollo; and other scope of FS and DED including Environmental and Gender, Social Development and Resettlement, and Urban Renewal Development Plan explained by the OCG Consultants.

Sulu Road Improvement

The stakeholders meeting was also participated DPWH Stakeholders Relations Service Director Randy R. Del Rosario, UPMO-RMC II Project Manager Olivia M. Baguio, DPWH-BARMM Regional Project Management Office (RPMO) Project Manager for Sulu Barlie Nahudan, and BARMM Ministry of Public Works (MPW) Sulu District Engineers Ajan Ajijul and Az-zamier Arbison.

A pledge of commitment/support for the project was also signed by the attendees before the DPWH team led by Senior Undersecretary Sadain advanced to areas in Sulu with the on-site verification to assess the current field conditions of the road alignment.

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