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Palace orders release of P1-b road fund

President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the release of P1 billion to the Department of Public Works and Highways for the preventive maintenance of national roads across the country. Budget chief Florencio Abad said the funding will cover 139.627 kilometers of roadways. The amount was sourced from the special support fund of the Motor Vehicle Users Charge, he said. “The P1-billion release is consistent with the commitment of the Aquino administration to improve and rehabilitate the country’s roads to optimize its structural soundness and lengthen their design life,” Abad said. “The DPWH has made a commitment to have 15,872 kilometer national arterial roads to be 100 percent paved by 2014.” The P1 billion will be used as counterpart allocation for the National Roads Improvement and Management Project II. NRIMP-2 is the second phase of a three-year program of establishing management systems to upgrade and preserve the National Road System in an environmentally, socially and financially sustainable manner. The P1 billion funding will cover eight regions, with the highest allocation of P150 million for Region IV-A for the asphalt overlay of Tagaytay-Nasugbu Road in Batangas. DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson said P530 million from its motor vehicle users charge fund will be spent on maintenance work Metro Manila. Road users are entitled to the services they pay in terms of smoother, faster, and more convenient travel and road safety, he said. Singson ordered all department field officials to ensure that MVUC funds are used solely for preventive road maintenance and that safety devices be installed in critical road sections to ensure safe travel or to locations called black spots along national roads. Black spots are portions of national roads where accidents often occur and are recorded in the agencys Traffic Accident Recording System or TARAS. “No more double decker guard rails, no more cats eyes on just any road, no more chevron lined up like fences along the roads,” Singson said. “These road safety devices should be installed where they are needed.” Republic Act 8794 titled Motor Vehicle Users Charge Act, mandates the payment of motor vehicle users charge by motor vehicle owners. The MVUC funds are allotted for the maintenance of national and provincial roads to ensure satisfactory service to road users, economic road transport operations, and the preservation of road assets. Joel E. Zurbano
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