DPWH ‘confident’ to finish Boracay road rehab on time

With only over a month left before the reopening of Boracay Island, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) remains confident that it can complete its target road rehabilitation.

“We are very confident…by October 26, significantly, it will be done. Malinis na itong mga kalye natin (our streets will be clean),” DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said on Thursday during his visit to the island-resort.

Villar said portions of the 4.1-kilometer main road, from Cagban Port to Elizalde Property in Station 1, will already be usable once the island reopens.

However, he clarified that construction works will still continue when the island reopens to tourists.

“It will not hamper the construction. Rehabilitation works will just continue,” he said.

Based on the DPWH report, construction works along Cagban Port to Hue Hotel, which measures 2.66 kilometer, is already 48.29-percent complete.

Construction works from Hue Hotel to Elizalde Property, which measures 1.412 kilometers is 41.05-percent complete.

Villar said the circumferential road in Bulabog will also be finished by October and will serve as alternate route going to Mt. Luho and Barangay Yapak.

The executive official likewise said additional high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes for the island’s drainage system will be delivered within the week.

A total of 336 HDPE pipes will be delivered by September 21 in addition to the 689 pipes already on the island, which will complete the requirement for the main road.

The DPWH targets to finish the installation of pipes by the end of September or first week of October.

“Once we can complete the laying of pipes, concreting of roads will also be done,” Villar said.

The DPWH has also deployed additional manpower from the 15 districts in the region to help in the removal and clearing of obstruction within the 12-meter road right of way, including the remaining protruding structures on the main road.

He said the ongoing road rehabilitation on the island, with a budget of PHP490-million, is just the initial phase.

“Next year, we will have another budget,” Villar added.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, in a media interview, said 1,000 rooms from about 20 establishments will be allowed for occupancy during the first day of the dry run, followed by another 1,000 the next day.

The dry run will start on October 15 to 25 while the soft opening will be on October 26.

During the dry run, tourists from Aklan and Panay Island will be allowed to enter the island.

The dry run is necessary to check the performance of the establishments in terms of their sewerage system and water quality, Cimatu said.