By: Tara Yap
SIBUNAG, Guimaras—The 4.22-kilometer San Miguel-Sebaste Road that has been rehabilitated through a funding from Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) formally opened Monday.
The P26.9-million road is the result of the second year of the five-year Provincial Roads Management Facility (PRMF) program that is also supported by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Guimaras Gov. Felipe Hilan Nava disclosed the PRMF program serves as a foundation for improving local management and governance.
“The PRMF serves as an entry point for holistic management and development of the province,” Nava said.
PRMF is designed not only to repair badly damaged roads, but train local manpower to develop self-sustainability in management and governance.
Guimaras is one of the seven pioneering provinces in the country where the five-year PRMF program has been implemented.
“Guimaras is chosen because of its intent for good governance as demonstrated by the governor,” said Graham Johnson Jones, PRMF team leader.
Jones is confident that the partnership of the Guimaras provincial government with the private sector will ensure the road investment of the Australian government will not go to waste.
Jones added that the road project will boost the island province’s agri-tourism industry.
Meanwhile, eight major road networks in Guimaras are undergoing rehabilitation in the next three years with the severely damaged ones to be prioritized.
On the first year of the project, four road sections were rehabilitated including the one that was formally opened yesterday. The other three are Magamay-Pandaraonan–Dolores Road (Dolores section), Igdarapdap-Lanipe Road, and East Valencia-Gaban Road.
Guimaras is sharing a grant of AU$100 million or P4.3 billion, with Agusan del Sur, Bohol, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, and Surigao del Norte.
Nava noted that the provincial government is allocating 12% in all infrastructure projects.
The PRMF program is also expanding to add three provinces in the project’s next phase and it will include Aklan.