Governor confronts Public Works bureau on road issues-A A +A
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – An irked Governor Nestor Fongwan faced Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) last Thursday.
Fongwan was losing patience over roadwork of DPWH causing traffic along the stretch Halsema Highway affecting most of highland municipalities here.
The governor called on Philippine National Police (PNP) Provincial Director Benjamin Lusad as well as village chiefs, mayors and provincial engineers for an emergency meeting following a series of complaints from residents and stakeholders on the worsening traffic problem.
The road repairs and re-blocking works of the DPWH have tested the patience of motorists and residents dealing with traffic every day.
Two lanes in the Tublay side of town have been closed making it difficult for vehicle flow, while re-blocking in the Tomay–Shilan area have likewise hampered the daily routine of residents and commuters alike.
DPWH Cordillera Regional Director Edilberto Carabbacan was present during the meeting and faced the governor’s ire. “We are saddened to hear all of this; we apologize.”
Carabbacan said DPWH rules dictate no two lanes of a road must be closed, as he instructed the contractor to stop closing the said lanes in future projects.
Carabbacan offered to coordinate all roadworks with the local government units as well as the provincial office and the PNP to which Fongwan retorted, “Dapat lang naman.”
Fongwan said all works must always be consulted with the government as well as the police for proper coordination and assistance citing the closure of the Tawang-Lubas road for a separate provincial project.
“I was never informed of the DPWH projects so we proceeded with the Tawang-Lubas road closure, had I known, we would not have closed it to help ease traffic,” said the irate governor.
He stressed, “We are after the convenience of the people as well as the safety; we have to know all these.”
Fongwan then harped on the durability of DPWH projects in the province using the newly introduced Instapave technology. “We observed water seeps into the roads causing it to be damaged more.”
The new technology sans the use of the regular asphalting but due to the rainy season makes it susceptible to water seepage. “You know that it is the rainy season now.”
Fongwan advised the DPWH to delay the project until October, when the rains are scheduled to halt to make works easier and less prone for water seepage.
“This is a judgment call on your part; we cannot explain this to our people. This project is a project of the DPWH, all they know is that this is part of the Provincial Government’s projects, and the public opinion is strong,” said Fongwan.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 18, 2012.