DPWH Bicol says it’s all systems go for ASEAN meeting in Albay


By Connie Destura LEGAZPI CITY --- The regional office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) here is all set to ensure road safety and cleanliness for the meeting of the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) in Albay province as one of the venues of the series of conferences, a top official of the agency said. Danilo Versola, DPWH regional director, in an interview Tuesday said maintenance engineers both from the regional and district engineering offices were dispatched to check on the informative, directional and warning signs installed in conspicuous places of the highway. “We make sure that the travelling ASEAN delegates are provided with clean and safe roads from the start to the end of their stay in Bicol,” he said. The ASEAN ministerial meeting in Albay will be held on August 21-25 at Misisbis Bay Resorts in Bacacay. Versola also ordered the prepositioning of tiptop construction equipment and maintenance crews on road sections that are prone to erosions, slide and flooding. “Ongoing projects along busy road stretch have sufficient warning signs, with traffic lights, flagmen, and good housekeeping maintenance men --- as well as the thermoplastic pavement markings, he added. Faded markings were replaced and pavement markings were retouched. Versola also said he directed his field engineers to give extra attention to the road from Legazpi City Airport covering some 37-kilometer stretch to Misibis Bay Resort in Bacacay, Albay, the venue of the meeting, and to the other prospect tourist spot destinations of the delegates -- Lignon Hill in Legazpi City; Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga, Albay; Legazpi Boulevard, and; Sumlang Lake in Camalig town. The Bicol region has amazing tourist destinations and packaging these with reliable infrastructure facilities will definitely encourage domestic and foreign visitors in the region. A boost in tourism industry connotes economic progress, and DPWH will do its best to provide ASEAN guests with convenient road travel, Versola said. “We give them good impression and they will surely be carriers of good news for Bicol,” he said. Garnet Bercasio, a resident of Bacacay, Albay said, “We are very excited for the upcoming meeting, with the clean and safe roads, we are expecting it to be very productive and promote the beauty of Albay.” This road safety and cleanliness program of the DPWH will not just benefit the ASEAN delegates but also the entire Albay province including the motorists, vendors, and especially the tourists, Bercasio added. Bercasio’s husband is working in Legazpi City and needs to travel an hour daily back to Bacacay. ASEAN is the world’s seventh largest market, the third largest labor force, and has been projected to become the fourth largest economic bloc by 2030.