The second legislative district of Leyte will get PHP2.7 billion budget for infrastructure development in 2018, considerably higher than this year’s allocation.

Leyte 2nd District Rep. Henry Ong told reporters that he pushed for higher budget next year to improve access roads leading to far-flung villages. For 2017, the district got PHP1.7 billion.

The bulk of the amount for 2018 will fund new infrastructure projects identified by the district office as essential to the economic transport and development of the area.

“We have considerable amount for health and education programs, but the majority is still for infrastructure development since this is the key to unlock economic opportunities in Leyte,” Ong said.

“One thing I noticed in my visit to different areas, especially those located upland is the difficulty of life because of poor access from the town center.”

District Engineer Carlos Veloso said among those included in the 2018 budget is the construction of bridges in Mayorga and Dagami towns worth PHP400 million combined.

A new road project gets PHP85 million funding in Jaro town leading to a number of natural tourist destinations located in the village of Villa Conzoilo, twelve kilometres from Jaro town proper. These are Silawa Falls, Duka Falls and Kabagtan Falls which hemmed besides cloud-capped mountain ranges.

“There is already an existing road going towards Villa Conzoilo. The fund will be utilized for concreting of the road to increase tourism and ease traffic and transport of agricultural products,” Veloso said.

He added that this is one project being pushed by Leyte Governor Dominico Petilla and endorsed by the Regional Development Council in Eastern Visayas.

If completed, the road will provide an alternative route to Ormoc City, passing through another tourist destination – Lake Danao.

The 2018 budget is also appropriated for widening and road reblocking along the Palo-Carigara-Ormoc road. Veloso said that this vital highway that cuts across Leyte province had been steadily widened in order to accommodate increasing traffic flow.

Leyte’s 2nd congressional district covers the towns of Barugo, Burauen, Capoocan, Carigara, Dagami, Dulag, Jaro, Julita, La Paz, MacArthur, Mayorga, Pastrana, Tabontabon, and Tunga. These towns have a combined population of 406,359. (PNA)

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