DPWH: Slope protection structure has design flaw-A A +A
Thursday, October 24, 2013
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- An official of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Thursday said that a "design flaw" in the slope protection structure at the Del Carmen-Balimbing Creek located along Jose Abad Santos Avenue in Barangay San Jose here may have contributed to its collapse.
A 40-meter portion of the riprap collapsed recently, even as conditions were normal, alarming concerned residents and businessmen with establishments in the area.
"May siko kasi sa design at doon nagpondo ang debris na may kasama pang mga puno. Pinigil nito ang tubig at tumaas sa siko ng riprap, especially the base with the existing sand kaya nag-scour sa ilalim," First District Engineering head Engr. Rico Guilas said.
"Kailangang alisin iyung mga siko (elbows) as proposed in the repair plan," he noted.
Guilas clarified that the slope protection was constructed last April and had to be "fast tracked" before the onset of the rainy season.
"The project had to be speeded up and completed before the rainy season. Kaya kung ano-ano lang ang mayroon doon ay iyun ang ginamit dahil gahol na sa panahon," he quipped, adding that the gutted riprap "really had no steel bars but just boulders and sand."
"Alam naman natin na mahina ang buhangin sa ganyan. So at the onslaught of Santi, scouring occurred and the structure collapsed," Guilas furthered.
He stressed that they have discussed and proposed a repair scheme with Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. chairman emeritus Levy P. Laus and volunteer flood czar Engr. Marni Castro.
"We have coordinated with Kong Levy and flood czar Marni Castro. Napag-usapan na namin iyung repair at the cost of the contractor. Hindi pa naman nababayaran ng gobyerno ang project na ito," he said.
Probe is welcome
Meanwhile, Guilas said the agency welcomes any investigation or any inquiry on the slope project, which was branded by stakeholders as "ampao" and allegedly substandard.
In an interview with veteran broadcaster Perry Pangan over DwRW 95.1 FM’s Talakayan, Guilas disclosed that the DPWH welcomes the query of the stakeholders on the integrity of the whole slope protection, as well as the investigation called for by Capitol led by Governor Lilia Pineda and the Provincial Board spearheaded by Vice-Governor Dennis Pineda.
"We welcome any investigation or inquiry regarding the slope protection and the collapsed portion so we can explain what really happened and as to the status of the infrastructure," he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on October 25, 2013.