July 21, 2024

Alleged corruption involving rock netting projects

This has reference to the front page photo of a damaged rock netting project along Kennon Road published in the July 25 issue of the Courier.
It’s fortunate no vehicle was damaged or lives lost during the incident.
I can attest under oath that most, if not all, of the materials used in the rock netting projects are sub-standard. The materials used are short or rusting anchor bolts, rusting local wire mesh (interlink) used for fences, and rusting anchor bolt plates.
These could be seen in all the damaged or collapsed rocknetting projects from Kennon Road, Labey Road, and Buguias-Bokod Road, among other roads.
Officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways-Cordillera claimed this engineering intervention has been tested and it works. They are liars.
Let the damaged rock netting projects be a proof to counter the claims of DPWH-Cordillera officials.
What has been tested in preventing falling rocks for 20 to 40 years is the shotcrete project, which was seen first along the Quirino Highway (Naguilian Road) then along Palispis-Aspiras (Marcos) Highway and Halsema Highway.
May I also discuss about the closed Busa temporary bridge along the Halsema Highway in Sabangan, Mountain Province.
I am not an engineer but when I saw how the first P50 million worth restoration work was implemented by the DPWH-Cordillera last year, I wrote the agency that the project will absolutely fail in any way because of corruption.
The DPWH-Mountain Province First District Engineering Office programmed and bided out the project sans the release of special allotment release order.
Unluckily, the DPWH-Cordillera “snatched” the P50M and implemented the project, which was supposed to be completed by July 2020.
At present, the project is 48 percent complete.
Of late, the DPWH again released P50M to complete the Busa road cut restoration project but the contractors are wasting the government money for constructing slope protection walls away from the road cut.
I strongly believe that the DPWH-Mountain Province First District Engineering Office is laying out the groundworks for the release of a third P50M funding.
The third issue which I want to point out is the flooding at Km. 4, La Trinidad, Benguet.
I think flooding in the area started more than 10 years ago and it became worse in the recent typhoon. I am a witness to this.
Why not improve the existing cross drainage or install more drainage system?
I also wonder why the officials are silent about the multi-billion rock netting projects in Benguet and the supposed P200M to solve this flooding.
Thank you for taking up highly questionable government projects in the Cordillera. — JUNIPER DOMINGUEZ, Mountain Province and Baguio City