Mt Province solon hits DPWH over projects

>> Monday, March 6, 2017

By Erlindo Agwilang  

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Rep. Maximo B. Dalog assailed provincial and regional Highways officials saying they have been delaying important infrastructure projects whose construction could have redounded for benefit of the people.    
The fate of various calamity-related projects for Mountain Province is now up to the Department of Public Works and Highways-Cordillera Administrative Region and the Mountain Province First District Engineering Office whether or not its officials are seriously bound to implement such by simply doing the job required of them, Dalog said.
“The DPWH-CAR and MPFDEO have yet to act on early recommendations of the agency’s central office to already proceed with preparation of program of work, bidding and implementation of said projects.”
He added said projects should be immediately constructed due to serious damages caused by Typhoons Ineng, Mario, and Lawin.  
On Jan. 17, the DPWH central office reportedly endorsed immediate repair and rehabilitation of at least two major bridges in Mountain Province damaged by last year’s Typhoon Lawin.
A month after the memorandum was issued, DPWH officials in the region and district have yet to act on it, Dalog said.
DPWH Sec. Mark A. Villar, in a meeting with Dalog approved the immediate restoration of the Chico-Karayan Bridge located at Samoki, Bontoc, Mountain Province linking the capital town of Bontoc to Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya and the rest of the country.
A span of the bridge was damaged Oct. 20, 2016.
It is still closed to heavy vehicles.
As a result, Villar sent a panel of experts to evaluate the said bridge.
After the inspection made by a bridge specialist, Dante B. Potante, director of Bureau of Design of the DPWH, retrofitting of piers 6 and 7 of the bridge was recommended by underpinning the foundation and replacing the deck slabs from spans 5 to 8 including replacement of all girders of spans 6 and 7. 
He also recommended repair of all defects on the rest of the bridge.
Potante said the Chico-Karayan Bridge needed immediate remedial measures like temporary shoring to support defective girders to avoid span failure including maintenance of two tons load limit capacity of the bridge.
However, concerned officials of DPWH-CAR and MPFDEO have yet to take action in response to the recommendation of the central office as it is already more than a month after the Bureau of Design issued its memorandum. 
Likewise, the rehabilitation of the detour bridge in Sabangan connecting Mountain Province and Baguio City and the Ilocos Provinces remains in limbo.
Dalog said DPWH-CAR and MPSDEO officials have yet to put their acts together and manifest sense of urgency to implement the project, considering the central office already gave the go-signal to proceed with the bidding.
Numerous other calamity-related projects that should have been bid out and implemented last year reportedly lapsed because of the seeming negligence of some of the agency’s officials for not proceeding with the bidding even if their counterparts in the national level told them so.
A few of these projects that have been halted because of pure laxness were cited: Bayoyo Drainage, Talubin River Control, Teng-ab Retaining Wall, Pey-esan Flood Control, Upper Chico Flood Control, and Drainages in Bauko, Mountain Province. The total amount of calamity fund that has supposed to have benefited Mountain Province last year is about P135 million.

“Lest these officials perform their ministerial functions and rise up above their personal interpretations over communications and memorandums issued them, infrastructure projects as such will be wasted to the loss of Mountain Province and its people,” Dalog said. 


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