Tarlac folks, mayor hit slow road construction

>> Saturday, February 18, 2017

By Nelson Bolos

GERONA, Tarlac - - Mayor Eloy Eclar who joined the people protesting the snail-paced construction of the national road at Barangay Singat here said the contractor was “baliw (crazy).”
“Dahil sa maling sistemang ginagawa ng contractor, tatlong  araw na kaming hindi makapasok sa aming mga bahay (Because of the bad work of the contractor, we were not able to enter our homes for three days), ” said Eclar who is himself an engineer and one among the top contractors  in the province.
Being protested is the government project -- rehabilitation and improvement of Sta. Ignacia-Guimbao Road, Pura-Gerona (Tarlac) Section.
The billboard on the construction site identified the contractor of the P75.1 million Dept. of Public Works and Highways project as Flordes Construction and Trading Corporation and LMG Construction joint venture.
However, workers on the site say the road project was sub-contracted by  local firm Asprer Construction of Willy Ong and the Tarlac Provincial Engineering Office.
“               August pa nang basagin nila ang sementong daan pero hanggang ngayon nakatiwangwang pa rin. Magpi-pitong buwan na kaming pinapahirapan ng contractor  It was August last year that they destroyed the concrete road, but until now, it is not yet done. The contrctor is making life difficult for us),” said Jimmy Ocampo.
The DPWH billboard says the project duration is from June 15, 2016, to Feb. 5, 2017.
“Kundi ba naman sila bobo at perwisyo, ang dalawang gate ng bahay ko hinarangan nila. Lahat ng bahay sa lugar namin hindi mai-pasok ang mga sasakyan nila (The contractor is dumb and a problem. They blocked the way to our houses and we cannot go home now using our vehicles),” added Eclar who also said the supervising engineer refused to answer his call.
Reached for comment, engineer Rensy Bucad, Asprer Construction supervising engineer, said  they put up the long 12-inch metal form works along the road since Thursday but the ready-mix concrete was not yet delivered at the site due to “maling (incorrrect) mixture”.
“Two weeks pa lang kaming nagtatrabaho sa project, ang PEO gumawa ng stripping (breaking of the concrete slab, clearing and sub-base preparation). Ang sa amin lang ang concreting. Mali ang mixture ng ready mix cement kaya na delay ang delivery”, said Bucad.
In a separate interview, engineer Manuel Bacani said the delay in the construction was due to unavailability of heavy equipment of the provincial government of Tarlac.
              He also said the road portion being worked on by Aprer Construction is only 527 meters and the cost of the concrete pouting is P7Million.
The stripping he said was done by the PEO.
                “Last year pa nila giniba-giba ang dating concrete road, tapos hinukay nila ang kalahati lang ng kalsada at matagal na iniwang basag-basag ang kalahati, kaya hirap na hirap kaming dumaan”, said Ocampo. 
A public utility jeep driver plying the Tarlac City-Guimbao road who requested his name withheld said, “kaming mga namamasada ang napeperwisyo ng husto sa bagal ng trabaho nila (contractor). Nasisira ang aming mga sasakayan dahil sa bakubakong kalsada”.
The project was awarded during the term of former president Benigno Aquino and funded from the Motor Vehicle Road Users Tax.
“Dahil sa bagal ng trabaho, maraming nahihirapan at na-aapektuhan. Hindi dapat ganyan ang implementation ng government project”, added Eclar.          


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