Espinoza: DPWH: Don’t Plan, just Wait and Hum?

JAIL Inspector Edwin Sarcon was lucky to escape death Monday when motorcycle-riding gunmen fired at him while he was on board his Izusu MUX at the corner of V. Rama and R. Duterte streets in Guadalupe. He was to report for work. As what our older folks say, it wasn’t his time yet.

Oolice investigators, aside from looking into the identities of the perpetrators, should dig deep into the motive. They should consider the strafing incident at the Talisay City Jail when Sarcon was still the warden. Arrested drug pushers claimed their source of illegal drugs was the jail.

Perhaps the assailants were still on training. Compare them to the late Jonnah John Ungab’s assailants, who showed they were professionals. Even then, should we not be alarmed?

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña chided the city police for their lackadaisical intelligence-gathering effort, although he still has faith in Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Chief Joel Doria. Chief Doria is one of three cops who received Metrobank Foundation’s “Outstanding Filipinos” 2017 awards for his work against illegal drugs.

With the recent spate of killings, one would ask what has happened to Chief Doria’s crime prevention program. Could the killing of persons suspected to be involved in the illegal drugs trade part of a purge? And, who is the judge?

Our judicial system is vibrantly working although it may not be as expeditious as it should be. But it’s not a reason to cut corners in enforcing the law.

•••

So who is incompetent? Kenneth Cobonpue, co-chair of the Regional Development Council (RDC) 7, asked after Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña described them as incompetent. This stemmed from the refusal of the RDC to endorse the P16 billion budget for three underpasses in Cebu City. Instead, the RDC only endorsed P900 million for the feasibility study for the three underpasses.

Who was it who said that money is the root of all evil? I’m not saying that because of the huge funding for these projects everyone wants to have a piece of cake. Cebu City North District Rep. Raul del Mar, the proponent of these projects, just wanted to fast track the construction to help solve the city’s traffic problem.

On the other hand, RDC officials wanted to be sure the underpasses would really solve the city’s traffic problem. They want to base their decision on on the data and recommendations of experts. Simply put, RDC officials don’t trust how the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) plan and implement projects.

The chaotic traffic in Mambaling as a consequence of the construction of an underpass is a classic example. DPWH officials did not provide an alternate route plan for motorists before starting the work on the project. When motorists loudly complained, the city traffic division crammed to look for alternate routes.

While RDC officials may not be engineers or expert planners, they have a patriotic sense of duty to protect the interests of the government.

I agree with the RDC officials that there is a need to improve the poor planning by DPWH officials. If I remember correctly, one of them once said that they are waiting for the alternate route plan of the contractor for the UN Ave. underpass. Are we to understand that DPWH doesn’t do the planning anymore? Don’t Plan just Wait and Hum?
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