MANILA Senator Imee Marcos has sought more funding for the construction, rehabilitation, maintenance, and upgrade of local roads.
According to a statement on Monday, Marcos filed Senate Bill 224 to institutionalize the Conditional Matching Grant to Provinces Program (CMGP) of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) as one of her priority bills to alleviate poverty.
Marcos said the bill aims to address the underinvestment in local road networks, citing that present allocation for such development averages only PHP10 million per local government unit (LGU) enough to cover only half the cost of repairs for one kilometer of concrete road.
The responsibility for local roads and bridges was devolved to LGUs through the Local Government Code of 1991.
"Twenty years of underinvestment has left local roads in poor-to-bad condition and in a disconnected state," Marcos said.
The senator explained that allocation for local roads was sourced from 5 percent of road users' fees collected by the Land Transportation Office, turned over to the Special Local Road Fund, and apportioned to LGUs according to their road length and vehicle count.
"We must link cities with far-flung areas to enhance the mobility of people and the transport of goods and services that will maximize the gains that could be made in local trade, agriculture, and tourism," she added.
Marcos stressed that limited budgets and the lack of reliable road inventories have delayed the expansion of provincial road networks.
In line with the economic agenda of the present administration which highlights the importance of a reliable road network, the CMGP is designed to contribute to a robust and competitive national economy.
CMGP aims to improve the state of local roads and connect these to national road networks in order to enhance local and regional productivity easing out value chain bottlenecks in agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency