Sunday, September 26, 2021

Tents to protect passengers from elements

CAPITOL sent two heavy-duty tents to the southern town of Sibonga to serve as waiting sheds for passengers, said Provincial General Social Welfare Office Head Siegfred Sepe.

Each tent, which measures 20 feet by 30 feet, will be installed on both sides of the Dumlog Bridge that was destroyed at the height of typhoon Seniang last week.

Capitol was anticipating the return of Cebu City-bound commuters who spent their holidays in their hometowns in the south.

Jules Regner, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office public information officer, said there was a line more than a kilometer long last Friday, as passengers from the south, some coming all the way from the neighboring island of Negros, tried to get to Metro Cebu.

“Mauwanan, mainitan ug nag-alsa pa og mga bagahe. Luoy kaayo sila (The endured the elements while carrying their luggage. I felt really sorry for them),” Regner said.

Passengers have been forced to get off the bus and cross the bridge on foot to get to the other side where buses are waiting to take them to the city.

Capitol has been clearing and widening alternative routes to avoid the bridge in Sibonga.

Provincial Engineer Hector Jamora sent a payloader to clear alternative roads covered by six landslide areas in Barangays Valencia and Compostela in Alegria.

These alternative roads will connect Dalaguete in eastern Cebu to Alegria in the western side of the province to avoid Sibong altogether.

Quick Response Fund

In a related development, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 will ask for additional funds from its central office in Manila to rehabilitate infrastructure that were destroyed at the height of typhoon Seniang like Dumlog Bridge and the Transcentral Highway, among others.

“Maybe we can source it out from our agency’s calamity funds. Other minor damages can be accommodated in our regular maintenance fund,” said DPWH 7 Assistant Director Juby Cordon.

DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas said they can source the funds from the Quick Response Fund (QRF).

The Dumlog Bridge will qualify for the QRF after its approaches were washed out by flood and traffic to the southern towns has been cut off.

In the meantime, Canlas said the mobilization and delivery of materials for the installation of a temporary steel bridge in Dumlog is ongoing.

“Also, we have to source the other components from our depot in Cagayan de Oro City,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.

The DPWH put up a depot of construction materials in Cagayan de Oro shortly after the typhoon Sendong tragedy, where more than a thousand people died.

Trans-axial dream

Meanwhile, Provincial Board Member Grecilda Sanchez said with the isolation of at least eight towns in the south as a result of the bridge’s collapse in Dumlog, she looks forward to bring into reality the trans-axial highway project of her late father, Gregorio Sanchez Jr.

The late vice governor believed that if realized, the six-lane highway will connect towns from Santander in the south to Daanbantayan in the north, without threat of isolation during calamities.

Although the Provincial Government has already spent millions on its feasibility study, the project was put on hold when the late vice governor and then governor Gwendolyn Garcia became political enemies. OCP/EOB
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