By ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
THE municipal government of Jose Panganiban has slashed the cost of building concrete roads to P5.2 million from the "standard" P10 million per kilometer.
This was disclosed by Mayor Ricarte Padilla in an interview with MWBuzz recently.
"Alam ninyo po ba ... sa kalsada natin, gumastos lang tayo ng P5.2 million for every kilometer (you know, we only spent P5.2 million for every kilometer of concrete road).
"Samantalang yon pong sa iba - P10 million," (while others spent P10 million ...), Padilla said.
"Sa administrasyon natin, kung kaya rin lang, gagawin natin na makagawa ng kalsada sa mas maliit na halaga (in our administration, if we could do it, we will build roads at lesser cost)", he said.
Padilla likened the building of concrete roads to a pair of denim jeans.
"Alam po ninyo 'yung maong na pantalon, pag nilabhan, eh umiiksi ... ganoon po ang kalsada ngayon," he said.
He recalled that when he met with the contractors with tie ups with the Department of Public Works, he was told that with P20 million, they would build a road of 2.8 kilometers long.
"Nuong nangangahalati na sila, nagsabi sa akin 'yung contractor na 2.2 kilometer na lang ang magagawa nila (when they were about half of the project, the contractor told me that it could only do 2.2 kilometers).
"Kaya ang sabi ko ay bilis-bilisan naman nila ang trabaho, kasi baka pagnatapos yan eh baka dalawang kilometros na lang ang matitira ... (so I told them (contractor) please hurry it up because you could end up by finishing only two kilometers).
"Biniro ko pa nga po sila ... ang sabi ko: pasensya na po kayo ... kaya po umiiksi dito ang kalsada eh nauulanan lagi ... (in fact I kidded with them, telling them the reason why our road gets shorter is that it gets rained out every time ...)
"Iyan po ang problema natin ... sa totoo lang (that's the main problem with road building, to tell you the truth).
Padilla said that in the case of Jose Panganiban, the local government unit (LGU) has managed to keep the cost of building concrete roads at the minimum and saved a lot of money for other social projects.
He said that if his administration could get the much-needed funds he requested from various national government sources, it could continue to build concrete roads for only P5.2 million.
"We have done it with our on-going baranggay road cementing projects," Padilla said.