February 6, 2023

DPWH-CAR must report only factual damage on infrastructures

This concerns the photograph of a huge landslide and the adjacent story titled, “PBBM tasks the DPWH to do swift inspection of hospitals, clinics” that were published on page 8 of the July 31, 2022 issue of the Baguio Midland Courier.

I take special notice of the picture of the huge landslide, which is at the Mt. Data Cliff section of the Baguio-Bontoc Road.

Nature has its own way of “exposing” the highly-questionable and anomalous projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Looking at the picture, there are two reinforced concrete barriers, with one on the right side and the left side to prevent wayward vehicle(s) to fall down off the cliff.

When I asked some engineers in the DPWH-CAR on the purpose of the multi-million reinforced concrete barrier being constructed in the solid rock slope side of the Mt. Data Cliff, they told me the implementing agency, DPWH-Mountain Province First District Engineering Office, has envisioned that, maybe, if a wayward vehicle rams into the solid rock slope, the vehicle will be greatly damaged?

And if it rams on the reinforced concrete barrier, it will not be damaged because it is plain and smooth?
This is absolutely comical and absurd.

What if the new administration wants to widen that section and construct a “rockshed” similar to the stretch of the Palispis-Aspiras Highway in Badiwan, Tuba, Benguet? Then DPWH has to destroy that newly-constructed reinforced concrete barrier?

The DPWH-CAR and DPWH-MPDEO think the funds they are using for infrastructure projects are their own?

This is wrong because those funds are taxpayers’ money which must be spent for useful projects that will greatly benefit the public. This is one example how the DPWH wastes taxpayers’ money.

The DPWH-CAR has planned to “install P500-million worth rock netting project over the Mt. Data Cliff, but it was abandoned because experts at the agency might have realized the project will not mitigate falling rocks, or boulders.

In wake of the damage on infrastructures following the July 27 magnitude 7.0 quake, new DPWH Sec. Manuel Bonoan must ensure that only factual damage should be reported by DPWH-CAR.

It has been a “culture” to “pad” calamity damage for purpose only known to people in the agency. — JUNIPER JAMES C. DOMINGUEZ, Sabangan, Mountain Province

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