THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said on Tuesday that it completed a total of 394 projects in the National Capital Region (NCR) in 2021, including bicycle lanes and quarantine facilities.

“2021 is a year of many milestones for the DPWH-NCR. We were able to implement vital infrastructure projects and programs that are responsive to the special needs of the region with the biggest population,” DPWH NCR Regional Director Nomer Abel P. Canlas said in a statement.

The department noted that the NCR projects for 2021 include dredging along the Marikina River near SM Marikina, Barangay Olandes, Marikina City; bike lanes along Roxas Boulevard, Osmeña Highway, Kalayaan Avenue, Shaw Boulevard, Araneta Avenue, Radial Road 8, Epifanio delos Santos Avenue, and C-5; and a bridge across Parañaque River adjacent to Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange.

The DPWH added that it also completed quarantine facilities in Las Piñas, as well as the Malacañang Park, the Pasig Modular Hospital, the Zapote River Drive, the Mandaluyong City Jail, the DENR Multi-Purpose Building, and the Marikina River Restoration Project.

“The DPWH-NCR and its District Engineering Offices, despite the challenges, achieved an overall absorptive capacity of 94.89% after obligating a total of P44.3 billion, and a prior year disbursement rate of 83.13% from disbursing a total of P46.6 billion,” the department noted.

In terms of right-of-way acquisition, the department said it posted a 96.88% accomplishment for the North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway Connector project, with 690 families relocated, 81 families given housing or financial assistance, and 873 paid the replacement cost of their property.

For the Mindanao Avenue Project, the DPWH said 182 families were relocated and seven families given financial assistance.

The DPWH-NCR also announced a plan to transfer all overhead cable lines underground.

Public Works Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain said last week that the department is targeting to finish “about 24” major projects this year, with 18 out of the 119 infrastructure flagship projects completed by the end of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s term in June.

He said that of the 18 projects, 11 projects have been finished and seven more are in the final stages of completion, including the Flood Risk Management projects for the Cagayan River, Tagoloan River, and Imus River; the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge; the Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project; the LRT-2 East Extension; the Motor Vehicle Recognition and Enhancement System; the Unified Grand Central Station or North Triangle Common Station; and the Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project Stage 2. — Arjay L. Balinbin