The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has admitted that its foreign-funded bridge project in Sultan Kudarat has been delayed, with the progress of construction still at less than 10 percent despite completion target in July.
“The construction of the bridge should be hastened to finish it on or before the project proponent, the Mindanao Sustainable Agrarian and Agriculture Development (MinSAAD), elapses in July,” Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Bernie F. Cruz said.
He said that the residents of Palimbang have long been waiting for the day when the overdue bridge, worth P34.5 million, and farm-to-market road in Barangay Baluan, worth P74.3 million, will bring relief to their town.
Construction of the bridge was supposed to begin on July 1, 2018 but was moved to September 5 of the same year. Its target completion was last February 9 but is still nowhere near the halfway mark.
As of this writing, the progress of construction is pegged at 7.71%, DAR said.
Cruz, undersecretary for foreign-assisted special projects, expressed confidence, however, that the bridge project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), can beat the deadline.
As to the 9.79-kilometer farm-to-market road, he said the project is nearly half done.
“These two projects are very important as they seek to ease the ordeal of local residents, who are passing through the treacherous river and weaving through a tough, winding road,” said Cruz, who personally checked the two projects in Palimbang recently.