Australian Amb. Bill Tweddell and Gov. Edgar Chatto will lead the turnover of roads and other projects in rites scoring the gains of infrastructure reform on the 161st Founding Day of Bohol on July 22.
A number of these essential projects, which include major rehabilitation works, had the two also leading during their groundbreaking after the monster earthquake that ripped through the bones of the island-province.
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Mar Roxas is joining the Boholanos in the commemoration and inauguration thru Usec. for Local Government Austere Panadero on his behalf.
Bohol is a pilot province of the Philippine Provincial Roads Management Facility (PRMF) , a program assisted by Tweddellâ€™s government thru the Australian Assistance for International Development (AusAID) in partnership with the DILG and provincial government.
There are nine other pilot provinces in the country, but Bohol is considered a model in PRMF implementation.
The PRMF projects in Bohol are categorized into two, the regular and those packaged under the Bohol Emergency Road Repair and Rehabilitation Project (BERRRP).
These include the Mahayag (San Miguel)-Danao road, Catigbian-San Isidro road via Caimbang, Cahayag (Tubigon)-Causwagan Sur (San Isidro) road, Alegria (Catigbian) Baang-Hagbuaya- Hanopol Norte (Balilihan) road, Poblacion (Inabanga)-Lawis road, Inabanga-Sagbayan via Lapacan-Magtangtang road; and
Hinawanan (Loay)-Concepcion-junction (Loboc-Sikatuna) road, Sikatuna-Sevilla via Camboac road, Catigbian-Rizal-Causwagan Sur (San Isidro) road,Â Candumayao (Catigbian)-Cabanugan (San Isidro) road, Dimiao-Oac-Bilar road, Antequera-Balilihan via Dorol road, Abatan (Maribojoc)-Agahay-Busao-Toril-Aghao road, Calape-Pangangan road, Sandingan (Loon)-Tajang road, and Quinoguitan (Loboc)-Sevilla-Hanopol road.
The Catigbian-San Isidro via Caimbang road has undergone rectification after a major stretch along it perfectly collapsed to the might of the record earthquake in 2013.
Under Chatto, the Bohol government has partnered with the Australian government in other meaningful development ways, including institutional reforms and capability-building trainings.
His leadership of the province has earned Bohol the title as the â€œdarlingâ€ of foreign Official Development Assistance (ODA) agencies.
These agencies include the AusAID, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The governor cited the local support to the PRMF execution, notably from, to name a few, the Provincial Planning and Development Office under lawyer John Titus Vistal, Provincial Engineering Office under Engr. Gabino Redulla, and PRMF technical people themselves led by Rosalinda Paredes.
The PRMF, also a counterparting scheme, has made the so-called Bohol experience the basis for the Provincial Road Development Network Program (PRNDP), which is hoped for test implementation starting next year.
Otherwise known as the national incentive program for local road management, the PRNDP seeks to fill the gap caused by the unfunded road mandate burdening the provinces and other local government units.
Chatto has led the technical working group of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) in strongly lobbying for annual national allocation for the program beginning in 2016.
But this is just among the initiatives of Chatto, who is the national secretary-general of the League of Provinces of the Philippines, maintaining, repairing and improving the local roads using national funds without necessarily affecting the internal revenue allotments (IRAs) of the provinces.
Bohol can secure a top priority in the national allocation in the pioneering implementation of the program because it already has one major requirement, a provincial road network development plan assisted thru the PRMF also.
Chatto also has laws which have now benefited kilometers of Bohol roads unlike before when they could not be nationally funded.
While congressman of the First District, Chatto nationalized essential provincial roads, explaining for their concrete improvement at the expense of the national government with regular annual maintenance allocations.
These include the Panglao island circumferential road, Balilihan-Hanopol-Batuan road andÂ Antequera-San Isidro-Libertad (San Isidro) road, the nationalization of the last two road sections in collaboration with the other Bohol congressmen at that time.
Of nationwide impact, Chatto authored the National Tourism Act of 2009 which now allows local roads in tourism areas to be improved out of national allocations.
The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) has come to being because of the law, providing the legal basis for the tourism road convergence program tasking the Department of Tourism and Department of Public Works and Highways in partnership with the LGU.
All these major Chatto acts, have hugely benefited essential and vital inner and core highways connecting growth centers, could safely make him the â€œbuilder of Bohol interior,â€ according to some public works officials. (Ven rebo Arigo)