Pamintuan threatens to sue over snail-paced works

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014


ANGELES CITY -- A dismayed Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan on Wednesday threatened to file cases over the slow Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) projects here citing the adverse effects of the problem to commercial activities as well as to motorists and commuters of the city.

"Resume work or we will file cases," Pamintuan said in a statement.

Pamintuan added that he wants to see the immediate resumption of work along the Pandan-Magalang road-widening project.

"I am giving local contractors a week to go back to normal working operations," Pamintuan warned.

He issued the statement after being dismayed over the slow progress of work on all on-going DPWH infrastructure projects in this city.

Pamintuan has also demanded overtime work on the projects and told the DPWH to disqualify the contractors if they cannot catch up.

Construction status on several DPWH road work projects in the city remains "slow paced", even after the mayor called for a coordination meeting last month with regional public works officials and their contractors.

Pamintuan was completely distraught of the "red-tape" and other procedural quandaries, especially in the regional agency, that seem to hamper the progress of the said projects.

"The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit for 2015 is coming – but my biggest worry is that most of these projects might not be ready for the rainy season this July," the mayor lamented, clearly agitated by the lack of prompt action from the public works agency.

Pamintuan has requested DPWH contractors to fast track the projects to ease inconvenience among motorists, the riding public and ordinary citizens.

The mayor and the official City Government Facebook account have been receiving mounting complaints from irate residents especially those living in areas where construction works have stopped.

Construction works along the Pandan-Magalang road-widening project have been stalled for more than a month now, after DPWH and JQG Construction saw the need to construct 31 drainages that will avert flooding in the area during the rainy season.

"It seems that our repeated appeals have fallen upon deaf ears and they continuously disregard our call to speed up these road improvement projects," Pamintuan said.

He said the City Government has even offered assistance to DPWH to address all issues and problems stalling construction works like road right of way (RROW) acquisition and road obstructions such as uncut trees and electric posts that have not been transferred.

Pamintuan has suggested that DPWH and their contractors should initiate a "catch-up plan" to finish the road projects on schedule.

Projects under the DPWH include the upgrading of the Pandan-Magalang Road costing P60 million, the MacArthur Highway in the Balibago commercial district costing P41.5 million, and the Friendship Road costing P100 million; and the widening and upgrade of the drainage system along Don Bonifacio Road costing P19 million.

Footbridges across busy roads are also underway, including one costing P22 million in front of the Chevalier School near the boundary of Angeles and the capital city of San Fernando. Another footbridge is being eyed across the highway in Balibago district in front of Systems Plus School.

"These footbridges have to be constructed now in order to ensure the smooth flow of traffic and the safety of our students and other pedestrians crossing MacArthur Highway," Pamintuan added.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on June 19, 2014.

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