Lawmaker wants prov’l govts to maintain, improve rural roads funded by ODA

BOHOL Rep. Erico Aumentado is seeking to direct provincial governments to maintain and improve several roads constructed with funds derived from the official development assistance (ODA) of donor countries such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) or Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which are being left without maintenance and improvement because local government units (LGUs) do not provide funding for such purpose.

Aumentado (2nd District, Bohol), author of House Bill 6678, said the provincial LGUs are passing the buck at each other on the issue of rural roads maintenance and improvement as if no one among them has the responsibility to do so.

“LGUs in most cases are the ones with the biggest funds, personnel and equipment compared to the municipal and barangay governments,” Aumentado said.

Aumentado said that infrastructures under this category are usually ODA funded Philippine rural road improvement projects (PRRIP), the second Philippine rural road improvement project (SPRRIP) and the rural road network development project (RRNDP).

“Millions if not billions of pesos nationwide have been spent for these rural roads,” Aumentado stressed.

Aumentado said these roads traversed through highly developed agricultural lands and are strategic arteries in the countrysides that link to markets and national highways, hence, vital to the economic development of these countrysides.

Aumentado stated that under the measure, provincial LGUs are authorized to use their general fund and 20% of the development fund to maintain and improve rural roads.

“They may also leverage their funding for counter-parting or convergence with national, senatorial and congressional funds as well as ODAs and non-government organizations, or even with the municipal and barangay LGUs with resources for the implementation of these rural roads,” Aumentado stressed.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is directed to draw up the list of rural roads, including, but not limited to the PRRIP, SPRRIP, RRNDP financed by ODA in every province where these roads are located.

Likewise, the DPWH and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), in consultation with the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP), are mandated to promulgate the implementing rules and regulations for the effective implementation of this Act.

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