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DPWH to Complete PHP2-Billion New Leyte Road by 2022

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is committed to completing the PHP2.02-billion Mahaplag-Hilongos Road opening and concreting project by 2022.

DPWH Eastern Visayas construction division chief Sandy Pua said there is a multi-year funding program to ensure that the road would be completely passable before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term.

About PHP400 million have been spent on the project during the first two years of its implementation from 2017 to 2018. For this year, the project got an allocation of PHP300 million.

For 2020, the budget request is PHP344 million. To fully complete the project, the DPWH has programmed some PHP272 million for 2022.

“Just like any road opening project, there are many challenges such as processing of tree cutting permits and road right-of-way acquisition, but we are doing our best to keep the road works moving,” Pua told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

The ongoing road project traverses upland communities of Mahaplag, Hindang, and Hilongos towns. Construction started in 2017 under the central government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program and is up for completion in 2022.

The first phase of the road project in Mahaplag town is about 70 percent complete as of August.

Once fully completed, the 48.22-kilometer road, stretching from San Isidro village in Mahaplag town to San Roque in Hilongos town, will serve as an alternate route from Tacloban City to Hilongos town and Maasin City in Southern Leyte.

It is expected to reduce travel time from three hours and 22 minutes to just two hours and 50 minutes, according to the DPWH.

The existing highway’s length is 179 kilometers from Tacloban City to Hilongos. With the new route, Hilongos town will just be 116 kilometers away from the regional capital.

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