Neoweb Technology: Paving a Durable and a Long-term Road Network in Passi City, Iloilo, Philippines

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First in the Philippines. The City of Passi in Iloilo is the pilot city to utilize Neoweb Technology in road paving. | Photo by (c) MAC

H.L. Menken, an American journalist, asserted that for every complex problem, there is a solution that is concise, clear, simple and wrong. Also, with the many solutions a man can think of to address a particular problem, there is always this one best solution for it. Now, the questions are, how do we know it is the best solution that one can take? How do we know it is a solution that is concise, clear and simple? And how do we know whether it is the right or the wrong solution after all? Well, a gamble for success always starts with… trying.

The large innovation in almost all aspects of life throve, in unison with the fast changing world. Very vivid in the field of technology, its incapability to adapt to the melody of impermanence implies a jam over the traffic of developments. Definitely, in this generation, only those who can adapt and fit to the evolution can survive.

Moreover, with man’s greater demands come greater efforts to meet them. However, with man’s explorer mentality, the cycle of struggle of always letting both ends meet is never ending.

In the Philippines, developmental initiatives of the government for the welfare of its countrymen had upgraded from all-traditional yet controversial remedies to a highly claimed effective ones, as testified by foreign users. To be specific, let’s go over the usual dilemma of Filipinos coming from the provinces, with their transportation situation.

In provinces, particularly in rural areas, one of the major implications of development is a concrete road. It indicates faster business transactions, and an easier access to institutions that are highly significant to the day to day necessities of residents. Traditionally, the government approaches on road concreting go either by plain cement or asphalt. However, for several decades that these methods were used, by experience, it dissatisfied users. Road pavements of cement concrete require reconstruction every after few years; and reconstruction would mean, a traffic jam, a longer time to allot for travelling, and technically a doubled expense for the same facility.

With high hopes of addressing this one common transportation problem, a new technology in road concreting is adopted. This is a technology found effective in Israel, and now constructed and is under further study in the city of Passi, in the province of Iloilo, Philippines.

Significantly outstanding in pineapple plantations, sugarcane areas and annual output in fruit production, the only component city and the largest in the province of Iloilo; Passi City was entitled as the Sweet City in the Heart of Panay.

The city has rich and wide physical resources providing its people the opportunity to maintain and enrich a vast plantation of different highly commercialized agricultural products, which enforces its large economic income, that finally provoked for the city’s conversion from a mere populous town to a third class, asset city of the province of Iloilo, in January 30, 1998, with the signing of R.A. 8469 by President Fidel V. Ramos.

Passi City is relatively dominated by rolling hills and narrow valley plains, having flat land which stretches along­side the Jalaur and Lamunan Rivers. It has a total land area of 25,139.13 hectares making up 5.39% of the provincial land area of Iloilo. Thirty eight rural barangays and thirteen urban areas compose the city.

As a city with resources in fine fettle, also having capable administration and hardworking people, the city is defi­nitely investment worthy for Agri-Industrial developments. These potentials made the City of Passi be one of the 12 Local Government Units (LGUs) that the Community-Based Forest and Mangrove Management Project (CBFMMP), a German funded project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Philippines, will center its project implementation, motivated of the advocacy of achieving sustainable development in the process of forest manage­ment, and with an active participation of the people.

As a healthy, protected and conserved environment is very important to the welfare of its people and the to the preservation of the city’s title, the city of Passi has committed itself to the Natural Resources Management (NRM) and Infrastructure Component of projects of the CBFMMP. Commitment process started with its formation of People’s Organi­zation (PO) like the Dalikanan Agro-Forestry Farmers’ Association (DAFA) and Gemommoa Agahon Integrated Social Forestry Beneficiary Association (GAISFOBA) that were later recognized because of their significant contributions on the projects’ implementation.

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(Left) The compacted Neoweb (Right) The Neoweb as the base.
| Photo by (c) MAC

The Farm-To-Market road is a project under the infrastructure component of the CBFMMP in which construction started last March 5, 2012, and finally accomplished in the month of June, 2013. Target date of accomplishment should have been in February, 2013 yet suspension of operation delayed the accomplishment of the construction due to the weather condition.

The Neoweb technology system delivers high-performance solutions for a wide range of road, rail, civil infrastructure, energy and mining applications. And in the implementation of the Farm-To-Market road, the this technology is adopted by the CBFMMP of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in partnership with the German Society for International Cooperation, Ltd (Giz), KfW Banking group, Landbank of the Philippines and the government of Passi City.

This project of the CBFMMP costs a total of Php15, 499, 514. 61, invested on Neoweb technology for road concreting. In cost comparison between conventional type of road and the Neoweb technology; the new technology is cheaper. With this, the new technology is found economical and workable compared to con­ventional type of road constructed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Passi City is a pilot city to utilize the Neoweb Technology for road construction in the Philippines. It covered Brgy. Magpana, Brgy. Javellana and Brgy. Jaguimitan. The Technical Grouping group chose these areas for implementation to also cater an easy transportation access for eight more neighboring barangays. Also with the new technology, it is seen to uphold ease and capability to the transport of agricultural products from its farm source to its market, considering the 20 to 50 tons designed heavy loads tra­versing the road.

The Neoweb Technology is an initiative adopted from Israel under evaluation, whether suitable and effective in providing durable and long term road utilization in the Philippine setting. A span of one year can already tell whether the adoption of the said technology is applicable in the country. However, study shows that the Neoweb technology is a non-corrosive, inert engineering thermoplastic resistant to extreme environmental conditions such as the heat, cold, water, wind and dust. It operates in temperature extremes of -50°C to +50°C, and has been successfully deployed in all environments from deserts to saturated peat bogs to the arctic tundra. Special additives and manufacturing processes make the Neoweb technology highly resistant to environmental influences, such as UV radiation and oxidation, during long-term outdoor storage, installation as well for long-term project design-life.

According to Israel’s Clean Tech News, a site that features the leading market players and the on-going project of Israel’s Clean Tech Industry, Neoweb Cellular Confinement System is a soil stabilization solution based on innovative honeycombed geocells. It confines, stabilizes and reinforces soft soils in road construction, as well as in slope and earth stabilization. This unique polymer-based solution, originally developed by the US Military and utilized by American troops in the Gulf War, has been enhanced by Israeli for long-term use in civil engineering and construction projects.

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The Neoweb Technology is adopted from Israel and is 13 cm or 5 in thick.| Photo by (c) MAC

This Neoweb technology incorporated in paving roads has a thickness of 13 cm or an equivalent to 5 in. It lies under a sub base which is the existing road way, only corrected and leveled. It is after a hundred percent compaction on the Neo-web that an 8 in thick cement will then be paved on. Since the Neo-Web is designed to hold base course, it allows no movement whenever water saturate; implying a more durable road. This is most applicable to the setting in the city of Passi, as there is a high volume of traffic jam, and frequency of loaded vehicle passing by.

Testimonies in Israel say that Neoweb technology does not only create efficient and instant roads, but also advocates a green environment. Neoweb technology can also be used for the creation of green roofs on buildings. The said technology is also capable of encouraging vegetative growth on eroded slopes. This is in the process of the honeycomb geocells holding the soil in place, while perforations in the material allow plant roots and soil nutrients to move freely between the cells and the ground, encouraging natural landscape growth.

The adoption of the Neo-Web is believed to be a risk worth taking for the city of Passi. It manifested significant performance in Israel, making the city pursue their initiative despite the difficulty to acquire the said technology. But with the thorough monitoring on its utilization, the city of Passi together with the CBFMMP and other stakeholders believe that the Neoweb technology is one best solution ought to make a greater opportunity for the people in Passi to increase their potentials and showcase their resources.

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