Issue of January 13, 2019
     
NEWS
Abra
Benguet
Kalinga
Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 

2018
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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WEEK'S MAIL
We welcome your letters and opinions. Kindly limit your letters to a page, preferably typewritten and doublespaced. However, for your letters to be considered for publication, it is essential that all letters must be SIGNED above your PRINTED NAME (you may request your name to be withheld or substituted with your pen name) and must include your ADDRESS and PHONE NUMBER. Letters and emails deficient in any of the above requisites will not be entertained. Please be guided accordingly. Thank you.
 
Public safety paramount in closure and repair of Kennon Road
TIBURCIO L. CANLAS, Regional Director, DPWH-CAR, Baguio City

This refers to the open letter of Juniper Dominguez in the Week’s Mail section of the Baguio Midland Courier dated Dec. 23, 2018 regarding the closure of Kennon Road and the on-going construction activities thereat.

On June 17, 2018, the Office of the Civil Defense-Cordillera recommended the road’s closure due to monitored rockfall incidents and possible soil saturation due to torrential rains brought about by the month-long habagat.

To ensure the safety of motorists and travelers, the road remains closed after the habagat due to threats of landslides that may occur at critical sections that are showing signs of instability. This was aggravated during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong on Sept. 14 to 15, 2018 whereby landslides, road slips, and debris flow occurred in many sections of the road prompting its closure until rehabilitation of these sections are completed as these are posing danger to motorists and travelers alike.

To date, the road slip at the detour road in Camp 5 bridge 2 is already restored while the restoration of the road slip in Camp 6, and Camp 1 bridge has just commenced following the issuance of the notice to proceed to the contractor.

As to the ongoing construction along the road section, these rehabilitation works are in consonance with the Road Slope Management System in identifying the priority funding for slop or loose stabilization along national roads. Under such system, the slopes of national roads are categorized and prioritized according to the urgency of works needed due to budget limitations. The ongoing rehabilitation involving widening and slope stabilization at intermittent sections from Camp 1 to Camp 5 are in line with stabilizing the already weak or unstable slopes that have a history of landslides or are prone to landslides by removing the unstable slope and loose materials to be followed by engineering interventions such as retaining walls, riprapping, and/or rock netting as the case maybe in order to stabilize the slopes. Such engineering interventions are guided by DPWH-Design Guidelines Criteria and Standards which is considered the bible of DPWH highway engineers or designers.

Said rehabilitation works went through scientific/engineering studies with no less than the Bureau of Design of the DPWH central office recommending such interventions to be done on nine critical sections that are prone to landslides. These are being requested for priority funding in the central office so as to fully rehabilitate these unstable slopes.

We are one with the public for the immediate re-opening of Kennon Road. However, with the present condition of the road, the safety of travelers and motorists is of utmost priority so as to prevent further damage to properties or loss of lives.

We appreciate the concerns raised by Mr. Dominguez as it is a form of public participation for the improvement of public service as a whole. It is assured that we are mindful of upholding the best interest of the public in doing our job as public servants.

We hope this clarifies the concerns of Mr. Dominguez.

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