Mall contractor ordered to dismantle fences-A A +A
Monday, June 27, 2011
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The contractor of S & R Mall in this city has been ordered to dismantle its front fences that are "encroaching" government property.
The perimeter fence went beyond the allowable five-kilometer right of way from Jose Abad Santos Avenue -- a national road and gateway to the west and east of Pampanga -- and enclosed the public drainage system, which had been clogged with spoils from the mall's construction, causing deep flooding along the road.
The flooding caused by the construction of the mall along the "Ayala Avenue" of Pampanga has been branded as disruptive to business there and resulted in inconvenience of motorists, pedestrians and employees.
In an inspection led by Mayor Oscar Rodriguez and business and government officials, it was found out that the contractor "clearly violated provisions" in its permit.
After looking into tributaries leading to the nearby Balimbing Creek, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Regional Director Jun Molano said fencing the drainage systems was a violation that may lead to the revocation and suspension of its permit.
"It would be very difficult for us to do maintenance works if our drainage systems are fenced. The fences must be dismantled," he said.
The drainage systems of Jasa were desilted in October last year, until they were clogged and caused flooding after Tropical Storm Falcon's torrential rains.
Reportedly, it was the first time Jasa was inundated, especially the west bound lane where big businesses like CarWorld Inc. and Ford Pampanga, among others, are located.
S & R's supervising engineers Fernando Delgado and Alex Peralta, though admitting to the violation, said the drainage systems being constructed by the mall were based on the "request and approved design" of DPWH, much to the surprise of Molano and DPWH Assistant Regional Director Ador Canlas.
"The drainage systems we are constructing are just improvements of the existing one as requested by DPWH. Maybe you are not the ones who approved of the design but we are willing to show you all the plans and drawings as approved," he told the DPWH officials and Rodriguez.
As of Monday, the contractors and DPWH officials are checking on the veracity of the documents at the agency's office in Sindalan.
Rodriguez, for his part, said if the City Government verifies the violations, he will immediately issue a cease and desist order on the mall's construction.
He said although it is the DPWH regional office that issued the permit, he has asked Engr. Efren De Leon of the city's permits department.
"May pagkukulang din tayo dito like iyung strict monitoring. Nevertheless, we are ready to issue a cease and desist order once the DPWH has verified violations in the permit," he said.
The private sector likewise opined that it is ready to file charges against the mall's contractor if the violations have been proven.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on June 28, 2011.