Governor Jose Gambito attends to villagers in Nueva Vizcaya. (PLGU-Nueva Vizcaya photo)

BAYOMBONG, NUEVA VIZCAYA- The Provincial Development Council Executive Committee (PDC EXECOM) of Nueva Vizcaya, under the leadership of Governor Atty. Jose “Jing” V. Gambito, has initiated an inquiry into the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region 2, seeking explanations for the lack of funding for two crucial bridge projects in the 2024 General Appropriations Act (GAA). The inquiry targets the decision-making process that led to the San Lorenzo Ruiz and Batu Ferry Bridges being unfunded, with Engr. Reynaldo C. Alconcel, the Regional Director of DPWH Region 2, at the center of the request for clarification.

The resolution that prompted this inquiry was unanimously approved by PDC EXECOM members, including Governor Gambito, Board Member Patricio F. Dumlao, SP Chair Committee on Budget Appropriations and Finance, LMP President Mayor Joseph Timothy E. Cayton, and Ruth R. Padilla, Chairperson of the Nueva Vizcaya Abot Palad Association. Highlighting the essential role of infrastructure in regional socio-economic development, the resolution points out the significant benefits of the San Lorenzo Ruiz and Batu Ferry Bridges to the locality’s mobility, safety, and disaster preparedness.

Located in Brgy. Baretbet, Bagabag (San Lorenzo Ruiz Bridge), and Bambang (Batu Ferry Bridge), these infrastructure projects are pivotal in linking Region 2 to the rest of the Philippines. Their completion is deemed crucial for enhancing the redundancy of the region’s bridge network, especially in disaster situations. However, their ongoing construction has been a source of inconvenience due to the unexpected halt in funding.

Governor Gambito expressed disappointment over the projects’ exclusion from the GAA 2024, a move that has deprived Nueva Vizcaya and the broader Cagayan Valley region of the anticipated benefits of these bridges. “The non-inclusion of these vital projects in the General Appropriations Act, despite being proposed in the National Expenditure Program, is a significant setback for our constituents,” he remarked. Governor Gambito further emphasized, “We are requesting that the bridges be funded so that they can be completed and utilized by the public”, underscoring the urgent need for funding to complete and make the bridges accessible to the public.

The resolution passed by the PDC EXECOM and proposed by BM Dumlao aims to not only seek answers but also to outline a clear path towards securing the essential funding needed for the completion of these critical bridge projects. This proactive approach by local government leaders underscores their commitment to prioritizing infrastructure development, crucial for the region’s progress and safety.(PLGU-Nueva Vizcaya release.#