BUTUAN CITY -- Around 120 commercial trucks were stranded for at least 12 hours along the border of Agusan del Norte and Misamis Oriental after a 10-wheeler cargo truck almost turned on its side and blocked the highway.

The 10-wheeler cargo truck, which was carrying bottled Pepsi Cola products, tilted sideways after its rear end wheel fell in a ditch in an on-going road construction in Cabantian village, Magsaysay town in Misamis Oriental 12:20 a.m. of March 29.

“It’s now 9:30 am and we’ve been here since 12 midnight. Unfortunately, this is the only passable road to Carmen, Agusan del Norte and then towards Butuan City and beyond because of the on-going road construction, only one side of the road can be used and this side is now blocked by a huge truck,” said Eddie Aguilar, a trailer truck driver carrying commercial goods stranded in the incident.

John Sebario expressed his disbelief in the slow phase of fixing the problem.

“This is taking too long, those in charge of this construction should have people that can contact them anytime in the day, and they should have contingency measures for this kind of problem. We are already late in our trip to cross Lipata Port to Leyte, it would have been fine if they would pay for the problem they have caused all these trucks which I’m sure have deliveries and deadlines to meet,” said Sebario.

One of the construction workers, who asked not to be named, pointed out an alternate route for smaller vehicles. Unfortunately trucks such as those 10-wheeled vehicles filed with cargo will not be able to cross since there is a sudden drop and climb in the portion of the said alternate road.

A resident near the incident area expressed his incredulity in the incident.

“The people behind this construction should have considered this. This road problem has been here since 2012 and until now we haven’t seen solution to into this. We have seen several vehicles break down along this area because of the appalling road condition. The ridiculous part is that this is supposed to be a national highway,” said Benjo a resident of Barangay Kabantian.

Vinah Maghinay, acting information officer of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), stated the incident happened when the truck fell to the lane that was prepared for concrete pouring.

“Our first District office only received the report at around five in the morning. District personnel were deployed immediately in the area to assist the traffic situation and the contractor’s equipment was used to tow the stuck truck. Light vehicles were able to pass through the by-pass road near the said area. By 11:40 a.m., the road was declared clear and passable,” said Maghinay.

Unfortunately, the DPWH personnel as well as the municipal police focused all its personnel on the incident area without regulating traffic and the build-up of trucks and smaller vehicles along the stretch of the road which created a huge bottleneck that stretched for two kilometers.

In several portions, private and public utility vehicles counter flowed which further created long congested traffic. Stranded truck drivers themselves helped out in easing the problem by helping smaller vehicles navigate in the very narrow passageways.