Bill tasks DPWH to maintain, repair ‘unclassified bridges’ | Inquirer News

Bill tasks DPWH to maintain, repair ‘unclassified bridges’

/ 05:30 AM January 02, 2024

Bill tasks DPWH to maintain, repair ‘unclassified bridges’

MANILA, Philippines — Muntinlupa City Rep. Jaime Fresnedi has filed a bill that will mandate the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to maintain and repair all “unclassified” bridges, particularly those that traverse expressways nationwide.

House Bill No. 9689, or the proposed Safety of Bridges Act, seeks to give the DPWH the sole responsibility of maintaining, repairing, or rehabilitating the infrastructures — part of the country’s vast road network that are neither national nor local government projects — to prevent their deterioration.


“Transportation has always played a very significant role in any country. The construction as well as the maintenance of roads as a very important component of a nation’s transportation system is therefore a very important task that must be undertaken,” Fresnedi said.


“Bridges, which link roads and also enable us to pass over bodies of water or man-made or natural structures, play a crucial role in a country’s road network,” he added.

Fresnedi cited 2021 data from the DPWH which showed that there were 8,546 bridges nationwide under its care, noting that the number “does not include bridges that are neither classified as national nor local bridges,” specifically those that cross over expressways.

In the case of “unclassified” bridges, “it is unclear whether the DPWH or local governments have the responsibility for their maintenance, repair or rehabilitation of these infrastructures.”

DPWH better equipped

“This results [in] the deterioration of these bridges that endangers both pedestrians and motorists,” Fresnedi said.

According to him, his bill will “give the responsibility of maintaining, repairing or rehabilitating these bridges all over the country, be they national, local or unclassified, to the DPWH.”

He added that compared to local governments and other government agencies, the DPWH was “better equipped and therefore in a better position to perform the task of maintaining, repairing or rehabilitating bridges as it is one of its core functions.”


Under the bill, it is government policy to ensure the safety of all public road users where, “the safe transportation of people, goods and products shall be a primordial concern of the State.”

“Toward this end, the government shall pursue measures to ensure that the country’s road network, which includes bridges, are properly maintained, repaired or rehabilitated,” it said, adding that jurisdiction over all unclassified bridges should be given to the DPWH.

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TAGS: Department of Public Works and Highways, infrastructure maintenance, Jaime Fresnedi

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