‘No stoppage order for underpass project’

UNLESS the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 gets a budget for the expansion of the side roads, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he will not issue a cease and desist order (CDO) against the ongoing construction of the multi-million underpass project on N. Bacalso Ave.

This was his response to opposition Councilor Joy Pesquera’s request for the local chief executive to issue a CDO against the underpass project until DPWH can expand the road.

“When DPWH gets the money for the side road, then I will put a CDO. But if they’re not able to get money to expand the side roads, I will not issue a CDO because you’re going to make the problem worse,” Osmeña told reporters.

Pesquera made the request after the City Council invited representatives from DPWH 7, Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) and WT Construction Inc., who is the project’s contractor, to an executive session last April 3.

Except for Labella and Councilor Jerry Guardo, Councilors Dave Tumulak, Margarita Osmeña, Edu Rama Jr. and Pesquera all hail from the south district.

Tumulak, Rama and Pesquera, wbo are residents of Barangays Basak Pardo and Kinasang-an, have to pass through the depressed area surrounding the site of the P700-million underpass every day.

In a privilege speech last March 6, Pesquera, who called for the executive session, said that some business establishments near the construction site have reportedly been forced to either cease their operation or consider closing their business because of revenue losses.

According to Engr. Roy dela Cruz, DPWH project engineer, once the project is finished, there will be one side road each for northbound and southbound lanes.

Both northbound and southbound roads of the underpass will also have one lane each for vehicles. He explained that the project’s budget can only afford one lane each for the tunnel, and one lane each for the side roads.

The councilors, however, believe that the roads should have been widened first before the underpass’s construction started.

Because of this, Pesquera, a lawyer, said that if the underpass will fail to address the traffic congestion in the area as planned, she will be filing graft cases against DPWH.

Mayor Osmeña, however, said that these problems were brought about by the delays in implementation reportedly caused by the previous administration.

“We’re not going to say ‘stop now’ and then wait for something to happen because there’s a big possibility that nothing will happen,” he said.

Osmeña also welcomed Pesquera’s plan to sue DPWH.

“Stop talking. Daldal siya ng daldal. Put your money where your mouth is. We might even help her (file cases). They just talk, but what did they do? Just be careful with people whose talent is only in their mouth,” he said. (RTF)
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