A site visit to the Road Leading to Busay Falls at Doña Josefa, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay was conducted on June 21, 2021 by an evaluation team composed of staff from DENR IX led by ARD Ronald D. Gadot. EMB IX, CENRO-Kabasalan, MENRO-Ipil, PLGU-Zamboanga Sibugay, LGU-Ipil, DPWH IX, RDC PSR, Barangay Officials of Doña Josefa, DPWH 2nd DEO-Ipil and the Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) IX Secretariat.
The inspection was as an offshoot of the 4th Problem Solving Session conducted by the RPMC IX on the Phase III of the Road leading to Busay Falls. The project was funded under the Tourism Road Infrastructure Project (TRIP), a convergence project between DPWH and DOT. The project was suspended as portions of the project area were damaged by the road construction. It was mutually terminated by DPWH 2nd DEO-Ipil and the contractor due to the difficulty in securing the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC). The ECC is one of the requirements for the lifting of suspension order for the work to commence in restoring/rehabilitating some portion of the project site. The purpose of the ocular inspection was to ascertain the existing condition of the area under Phase III as against the proposed restoration and rehabilitation plan prepared by DPWH 2nd DEO-Ipil in CY 2019.
After the ocular inspection, a debriefing was conducted at the DPWH 2nd DEO-Ipil Office to discuss the observations/findings and recommendations of the team on how to resolve the issue concerning the Phase III of said road project. It was found out that an Engineering Geological and Geohazard Assessment Report (EGGAR) should have been prepared prior to the implementation of the project to determine the mitigating structures, among others in the area. Since the Phase III of the project was already terminated, a new funding requirement for asset preservation should be proposed. The formulation of an EGGAR will serve as the basis for the preparation of the rehabilitation plan and corresponding budget by DPWH 2nd DEO-Ipil. The proposed budget will be included either in DPWH IX FY 2022 Supplemental Budget, or under its CY 2023 Agency Investment Program and Budget Proposal. The LGU-Ipil, being the proponent of the project will be responsible in securing the ECC for the said project.
The team was optimistic that the agreements reached during the meeting would finally pave the way towards the resolution of some issues that beset the Phase III of the Road Project leading to Busay Falls. The DPWH 2nd District Engineering Office (DEO) -Ipil graciously hosted the activity as the implementing entity of the project. (Garyl Jay N. Pepito, NEDA IX)