REMEMBER the road chevrons, those reflectorized arrow signs that sprouted all along the length of the Diversion Road that belong to the First District?
Those same signs that cost P14,000 each for two pieces of GI pipe, two pieces of GI sheets, a reflectorized arrow and a footing?
They're still there, as annoying as ever and looking all worn out. But guess what, more have sprouted along the Matina Pangi road.
After President Benigno C. Aquino III's first state of the nation address, may we no longer see such senseless project in our midst. He made it very clear, "Sa administrasyon po natin, walang kota-kota, walang tongpats, ang pera ng taumbayan ay gagastusin para sa taumbayan lamang."
Ehem. We just hope our congressmen are listening and are challenged to be the statesmen they were elected to be and not the power-tripping avaricious politicos they have become.
As President Aquino talked about the 246 priority safety projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways that were to be funded by the Motor Vehicle Users Charge for P425-million, which ended up as just 28 projects costing P480-million, we cannot help but wonder if the chevrons were part of this.
We have in our midst the epitome of senseless projects that President Aquino was ranting about as arrow signs stand like marching soldiers along a slightly curving road that we call Diversion Road.
"Ang hininging 425 million pesos, naging 480 million pesos pa, lumaki lalo dahil sa mga proyektong sa piling-piling mga benepisyaryo lang napunta. Mga proyekto po itong walang saysay, hindi pinag-aralan at hindi pinaghandaan, kaya parang kabuteng sumusulpot," President Aquino said as chevron signs literally spring up like mushrooms (kabute) this time along Matina Pangi Road.
Just to refresh our minds on how atrocious this chevron project is, the distance between each sign along Diversion Road is between four meters to six meters, most of them nearer four meters than six.
In the US Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices by the Federal Highway Administration, spacing depends on curve advisory speed and curve radius such that a "motorist will have two in view, until the change in alignment eliminates the need for the signs".
At any one time along Diversion Road, a motorist can see at least ten at one turn.
Moreso, US standards also says that an advisory speed of less than 20 kilometer per hour (km/hr) and a curve radius of less than 60 meters will ideally require a chevron spaced at 12 meters apart. This is the shortest distance between chevrons. The distance can go up to 60 meters when curve advisory speed is more than 100 km/hr and curve radius is more than 380 meters.
All curves in the Ma-a Bridge to Ulas Junction are less than 60 meters in radius. The Matina Pangi Road, where the new chevrons have sprouted does not even have much curves to speak of.
The past administration is still upon us, despite President Aquino's statement that all this is in the past. "Tapos na po ang panahon para dito."
As he himself admits, the past administration and its corrupt leaders were forward-looking in feathering their nests. Dipping even into future calamities.
"Naglaan ng dalawang bilyong piso na Calamity Fund bilang paghahanda para sa mga kalamidad na hindi pa nangyayari. Napakaliit na nga po ng pondong ito, ngunit kapapasok pa lang natin sa panahon ng baha at bagyo, 1.4 billion pesos o sitenta porsyento na ang nagastos," the president said.
The dirty fingers of our corrupt officials, immediate past and present, are still all over government coffers and this will not just end with a Sona from the president. What will put an end to this is when the people themselves will stand up and say, enough! More than saying that, let us hold all those with their fingers and pockets thus coated with the kitty accountable for plunder and strip all those politicos masquerading as honorables and call them as they really are: kawatan.