May 28, 2023

This refers to a story titled “City incurs P25M damage on infra,” which was published in the Aug. 1, 2021 issue of the Courier.
As a critic of the Department of Public Works and Highways and its city and provincial district offices, I commiserate with Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong because I strongly believe that the DPWH-Baguio City District Engineering Office is one of his perennial problems.
Let me share my observation why the city incurred P25 million-worth of damages on (public) infrastructure recently.
First, the picture of the collapsed concrete riprap of Leonard Wood Road during non-stop rains on July 28 was the fault of the Planning and Design Division of the agency that implemented it. Was there a soil test before it programmed such concrete riprap to ascertain how deep the foundation should go? I bet none was conducted.
Second, I roamed the city streets during the heaviest of the downpour last July where those black “Orocan” pipes with a diameter of three feet were spotted in front of Casa Valejo Hotel, beside the Court of Appeals cottages, and infront of Mabini Elementary School. I was amazed that maybe a little than one gallon of water per five seconds enters that “Orocan” pipes. Maybe a smaller 12 inches diameter could have sufficed?
Third, also noticeable during the month-long inclement weather were the asphalt overlay with wide and small holes that endangered the commuters and motorists.
Fourth, the office opted not to comment on the collapsed “grouted” ripraps because that has been a common practice of DPWH for decades now.
Those concerned offices must be ashamed to the public, especially to the taxpayers. Baguio has been a recipient of huge funding for public infrastructure projects the past 15 years, and it’s unfortunate that poor planning could be one of the factors why these projects are being damaged during inclement weather. — JUNIPER DOMINGUEZ, Baguio City and Mountain Province

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